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Recyclers Are Key for the Success of the Circular Economy in Glass Industry in Mexico and the Dominican Republic


  • New study by IDB Invest and AB InBev highlights the role of recyclers in local value chains and offers a roadmap for other countries in Latin America.


The circular economy offers a unique opportunity to close the glass recycling cycle in Mexico and the Dominican Republic and integrate recyclers from brewing industry companies that play a fundamental role in its supply chain.


AB InBev and IDB Invest published the study Recovering glass: a success story on circularity in the value chain to improve the adoption of circular practices, optimizing the volume and quality of post-consumer glass bottles. The study was developed as part of initiatives by Grupo Modelo and the Cervecería Nacional Dominicana (CND), part of AB InBev, to ensure 100% of their packaging is recyclable or made from recycled material.


For the beer industry, glass is a key material. In Mexico, Grupo Modelo recovers 96% of its bottles. In the Dominican Republic, Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, also part of AB InBev and the largest beer group in the world, recovers 90% of its bottles.


In recent years, beverage companies have made significant efforts to develop the recyclers sector. However, their working conditions, the low cost of glass in the market, limited education about its impact on the environment, and the lack of effective waste management policies, among others, have prevented the creation of a true circular economy in the glass chain.


Among the findings, the study highlights the need to provide more education among consumers to increase the amount of glass discarded, alliances between the packaging manufacturing and recycling industry, and decision makers to increase the participation of companies and improve regulations and its collection infrastructure.


Among the four recommendations of the report, the importance of recognizing the work of recyclers and bottlers within the glass value chain stands out, promoting education and public awareness to increase the amount of glass, establishing alliances that serve as a link between the manufacturing and recycling industry and decision makers to improve regulations, and increase the participation of companies in the waste management system to improve glass collection infrastructure.


It also points out the creation of Model Recyclers, a program designed to promote the growth of recyclers in the value chain and in turn contribute to the optimization of the volume of recovered and recycled glass as an engine of the local economy. To date, Grupo Modelo has trained 80 recyclers in Mexico, in order to empower them to care for the environment and improve their quality of life and that of the community.


For its part, with regard to the Dominican Republic, the study highlights that Cervecera Nacional Dominicana (CND) has developed a network of more than 300 recyclers, called Botelleros/as, to recover glass bottles from waste to reintegrate them. to the productive cycle under a returnability scheme. Although this chain has grown over time, the company is seeking to help recyclers increase the number and quality of recovered bottles.


To promote a circular economy, Grupo Modelo has developed a glass management strategy with two fronts: collection of glass bottles collected from consumers and consumption points and collection of glass bottles through recyclers. The brewery has recovered more than 700 million bottles in the last three years.


Likewise, the document offers a roadmap to replicate the circularity strategy for glass in other Latin American countries with metrics and five lines of action: Alliances for circularity, diagnosis of the value chain, capacity creation, promotion of circularity and growth plan, and sustainable infrastructure.


About IDB Invest

IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $21 billion in assets under management and 394 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.


About Grupo Modelo

Founded in 1925, Grupo Modelo is a leader in the production, distribution and sale of beer in Mexico and is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, a leading global beer company. It currently has 17 national brands, among which Corona Extra, Corona Cero, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial, Pacífico and Victoria stand out. It exports seven Mexican brands to much of the world. It is an importer in Mexico of the brands Budweiser, Bud Light, Goose Island, Michelob Ultra, Beck's and Stella Artois. Through a strategic alliance with Nestlé Waters, it produces and distributes in Mexico the bottled water brands Sta. María, Nestlé Pureza Vital, Perrier and S.Pellegrino, among others.