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Mexico City is bartering its recyclable waste for food

Date: 21-May-18
Author: Alejandra Laclette

The Mexico City barter market lets people trade recyclable products for produce © El Mercado de Trueque

The Mexico City barter market lets people trade recyclable products for produce

Mexico City has come up with an innovative initiative to incentivise recycling among its residents, while supporting local produce. Funded by the local government, the Barter Market has been taking place every second Sunday of the month since 2012 according to the Department of the Environment, and hosts a very interesting bartering system.

People line up with clean recyclable waste such as plastic and glass bottles, paper, cans and some electronic devices, as reported by CGTN. Depending on how much they bring, they get “green points” in the form of monopoly-like bills, which they can later exchange for local produce in the Market. With the purpose of providing equal opportunities to everyone, a maximum of 10kg of waste is allowed per person, and a minimum of 1kg.

Once the products are separated according to their waste stream, they stop being trash and become a resource which is then taken to different facilities to be recycled into new materials.

Currently, local governments do not provide kerbside recycling collection services, meaning that thousands of valuable materials go to landfill. While this initiative is not enough to tackle all the waste produced by the city, it is a great way to promote recycling among its residents, increases awareness of environmental education while also supporting local growers.

Planet Ark encourages people to correctly source separate their recyclable material in their appropriate bin, to reduce contamination and facilitate the recycling process.

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Alejandra                                         Laclette
Author: Alejandra Laclette

After managing the sustainability educational program at her corporate job in Mexico, Alejandra decided to move to Sydney and undertake a Master in Sustainable Development, while working as a Sustainability Consultant for a compostable packaging company. She's now Planet Ark's Recycling Label Program Manager.

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