Local February 27, 2020 | 7:29 am

The DR generates 50,000 tons of plastic bottle waste per year

The country. Lunch of the Corripio Communications Group, with Mr. Celso Juan Marranzini President of the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD), Mrs. Circe Almánzar Vice President of the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD), Mr. Juan Amell president of the Association of Non-Alcoholic Beverage Industries (ASIBENAS), Mrs. María Alicia Urbaneja Executive Director of (ECORED) and Mrs. Marielly Ponciano Coordinator of Circular Economy Project. Today / Pablo Matos 02/26/2020

In the Dominican Republic, 50,000 tons of plastic bottle waste is generated annually, which represents a significant volume that justifies the development of a recycling industry that would reduce the impact of that product on natural resources and save foreign exchange when the purchase of resins with which those bottles are made is reduced.

22 companies joined in this purpose, through the EcoRed organization, they created the Circular Economy program, which includes an investment of 25 million dollars over seven years, to recycle hundreds of tons of plastic bottles that are used for the consumption of different products.

The details of that program were offered by Circe Almánzar, executive vice president of the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD), and Marielly Ponciano, coordinator of the Circular Economy project.

By participating in the Corripio Communications Group Lunch, Almánzar said that the project was made as a 20-year business plan and that it has several phases, including the purchase of a plastic processing plant that costs five million dollars.

In that sense, Ponciano explained that the first phase of the plan includes the implementation of logistics that allow the monthly collection of 300 tons of this garbage.

Those wastes, washed and converted into bales, would be sold to countries that have polycondensing plants, which convert that plastic into resins, Ponciano said, noting that they have already made contacts, for such purposes, with Mexico, Colombia and the United States.

When that first phase starts, and is sustainable from the increase in the volume of waste, then the purchase of a polycondenser plant will be viable, he said.

In order for such equipment to be installed, no less than 600 tons of plastic bottle waste must be collected each month, Ponciano said. “That plant crushes and washes the plastics, and the product obtained in that phase is a washed flake, which is already another byproduct that can be consumed locally, or sold at a higher cost abroad.”

Education, a priority of the plan

María Alicia Urbaneja, executive director of EcoRed, explained that the execution of the Circular Economy project has allowed the companies involved to learn that solid waste management is an important issue that cannot be ignored, and that implies the search for innovative solutions.

“In the search for positive results, we learned that this is an innovative issue, which implies the possibility of generating more jobs in the country, as well as saving foreign exchange when processing plastic in the country,” she said.

All this has a great impact, both for what the project generates economically and for the impact on the sustainability of the environment and the conservation of natural resources. Urbaneja considered a very positive element that Dominican companies, competing with each other, have joined together in a single purpose. “To think that 21 companies that are competitors in the market have been able to sit at the table to look for solutions together, that is good news for the country,” she said.

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