The IMG Group is aware of PET’s important role in various industries that affect our everyday life. Amongst other functionalities, PET has unique and irreplaceable characteristics to protect and package food, directly contributing to reducing food waste and hence delivering a huge
positive environmental impact on our environment. 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’sfoundation, 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 collaborates and 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 at 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 sensitizing society on 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 IMG group has a partnership with the Sol Pacífico Foundation, with whom they have associated in several initiatives linked to recycling and education. In this case, they foster ecobrick construction as a 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:
o Reduction in environmental pollution and emissions as waste is reused
o Material for insulation purposes
o High durability
o Easy to store and transport
o Simple and low-cost technique

They 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 programs at the local schools, as they believe that the younger generations are the future for 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.

As an additional incentive eco-bricks can be cashed as vouchers to be used in local supermarkets (5 eco bricks = 20 USD). The first collection of Eco-Bricks was a huge success, with the following results:
More than 14 communities and 128 families participated
1,725 eco-bricks were recollected
8,000 USD in vouchers for supermarkets were distributed to the families who participated – a huge relief in COVID times.
110,350 m2 of waste was recycled
More than 110,350 m2 of constructions will be built

The first collection of eco-bricks will be used for the construction of bus stops. Two projects have already initiated, these will use the majority of the eco-bricks from this first pool, and more projects are on the way.

The IMG group is aware that it will take a lot more to solve the plastic waste challenge, but they believe that they can have a positive impact by funding local start-up programs that can become global examples and be replicated elsewhere. They also unveiled that they plan to reproduce this program in other communities where they operate, as well as having part of their
sustainability team dedicated to identifying future projects with the highest potential for a global positive impact.

The IMG Group incorporates post-consumer and post-industrial recycled content in both lines of businesses: Selenis – supply of specialty polyester for diverse applications, and Evertis – PET-based films for food and non-food applications.

Evertis counts on a wealth of expertise and know-how in accelerating innovative techniques to incorporate recycled content into their products, as they were pioneers in film extrusion as well as incorporation of recycled materials. Currently their films target an average incorporation of
50% post-consumer and post-industrial recycled content.

In 2020, Selenis launched an innovative line of 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 sensitizing their communities to the benefits of recycling PET and advancing a closed loop economy.

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Written by Kevin Gambrill