Lanas Trinidad, NIDO, URUPLAC, Prendetec and Repapel were among the winners of the first-ever Uruguay Circular Economy Award, given out on World Environment Day this month. The Award was created by the PAGE Uruguay Programme to recognize initiatives and projects that are contributing to the country’s transition towards a circular economy. It is the first award of its kind in the Latin-America and Caribbean region.
The Award recognized winners in five categories: Large Companies, Cooperatives, MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises), Educational Institutions and Communities.
Lanas Trinidad was the winner of the Large Companies category and received the prize from the Undersecretary of Industry, Energy and Mining, Olga Otegui. Lanas Trinidad was recognized for promoting environmental sustainability in the productive process and for circulating and valuing materials that would normally be treated as waste in a linear economy.
The prize in the Cooperatives category was taken by NIDO and was awarded by the National Director of Environment, Alejandro Nario. NIDO, a cooperative composed of eight women, works to promote conscious and responsible consumption with a focus on social inclusion.
URUPLAC was the winner of the MSMEs category, a prize awarded by the President of the Board of Directors of the National Development Agency, Martín Dibarboure. URUPLAC consists of two partners who have been working in recycling for more than 20 years. The company was born in 2012 as an effort by the partners to find a recycling alternative for potentially unprocessed products that are not processed in Uruguay due to lack of productive alternatives.
The prize for the Educational Institutions category, delivered by Manuel Albaladejo, the representative of the UNIDO Regional Office, was awarded to PRENDETEC of Ceibal. Ceibal has delivered almost two million devices in the Uruguayan public system, managing around 13 tons of waste and electronic devices on a monthly basis. PRENDETEC is an example of how collaboration between the education system and private companies can be used to build new assets.
Pablo Montes, the Coordinator of PAGE Uruguay, presented the award to Repapel in the Communities category. The Repapel community offers a solution to the problem of garbage throughout the country. In Uruguay, the average person generates 1.1 kg of garbage daily. At least 15% is paper or cardboard and more than 20% is plastic. Repapel promotes a system of classification and subsequent recycling of paper and PET plastic throughout the country. In doing so, Repapel generates recycled paper and plastic supplies for public schools that participate in the project and environmental education programs for all organizations.
Uruguay is one of the partner countries of PAGE (Partnership for Action on Green Economy), which seeks to contribute to the incorporation of the concept of green growth in public development policies, with the purpose of promoting the efficient use of resources and environmental sustainability. This successful first year of the Uruguay Circular Award is an important step in advancing the country’s path towards sustainability.