Eco-bricks, squaring the circular economy

The Portuguese based IMG Group has launched an ambitious PET recycling programme in Mexico, thereby offering a major contribution to ending plastic waste in the region. The IMG Group has always been aware of PET’s important role in industries that affect our everyday lives. Amongst other functionalities, PET has many unique and irreplaceable characteristics for the protection and packaging of food. Through recycling, it delivers a huge and positive environmental benefit. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on PET’s crucial role in hygiene and safety in the food and medical industries, proving this material is irreplaceable. Since the IMG Group’s foundation, their main purpose has always been to focus on a circular economy for PET.

Their vision focuses on providing innovative and sustainable products that meet not only human needs but environmental needs as well.  The Portuguese-based group, is steadily advancing on the road to circular economy transition, deploying ambitious programs and investing on the improvement of their products. In order to guarantee their success, the group partners with governments, industry associations and local communities, supporting each other in a common commitment of achieving circularity. They believe that through collaboration they will drive change on a whole new scale. The group’s aim is to reduce waste and foster PET recycling not only at their industrial sites, but in all the communities where they operate. They believe in encouraging their local communities to care for the environment by collecting, separating and recycling all materials possible, focusing on the most widely recycled material – PET. By sensitising society to the benefits gained from recovering materials that would otherwise end up in landfills, the group motivates society to join them in their common goal. The Eco-Brick Project – Costa Alegra, Mexico.  

The IMG group has partnered with the Sol Pacífico Foundation, with whom they have collaborated with in several initiatives linked to recycling and education. In this case, the group sponsors Eco-Brick construction as a major sustainable project. Eco-Bricks, made using PET bottles filled with non-recyclable materials, become the building blocks of ecological building structures with the following benefits:  

Reduction in environmental pollution and emissions as waste is reused * Material for insulation purposes * High durability * Easy to store and transport * Simple and low-cost building technique.

The group embarked on this project in the Costa Alegre area of the Mexican Pacific Coast. Although they target the involvement of the whole community, they focus on programmes at the local schools, as they believe that the younger generations are the future of a greener planet. Through class-room presentations, the foundation highlights the positive impact that this ecological construction delivers and teaches students how to make their own eco-bricks – something that can then be replicated at home and throughout the community.

With this knowledge, a fun and educational activity was created whereby students participated in the construction of benches and other elements for the improvement of their school facilities.

In 2020, the IMG subsidiary, Selenis launched an innovative line of new products, known as the ECO Series, pioneering the incorporation of up to 50% of recycled content in their resins. Additionally, through their investments in R&D they have developed fully recyclable solutions for the shrink sleeve and form-fill-seal packaging markets.  The IMG Group shares society’s concerns regarding the impact of waste, and they are committed to improving social well-being throughout the world and preserving the health of the planet. The group envisions a future with increased use of recycled content, greater recyclability of their products and lowest feasible carbon footprint where the group plays a leading role in sensitising their communities to the benefits of recycling PET and advancing a closed loop economy

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Written by Kevin Gambrill