Getting the quality right is one thing. Getting enough used bottles to feed into the Wise process to start with, is another challenge entirely.
Brazil produces around 80 million tonnes of waste annually. If a town has a government-run collection scheme, but the waste isn’t separated into recyclable and organic, plastic ends up in a landfill where it is most likely buried, but could be separated mechanically for recycling. In areas without collection services, plastic and other waste simply ends up being dumped into the environment.
According to CEMPRE (a non-profit organisation that promotes recycling), about 17% of the population has access to a collection system where recyclables are taken to a cooperative or to private companies for the material to be manually separated.
After separation, plastics and other materials are sold on to recyclers. The quality of the waste that reaches processing facilities is highly dependent on its origin. The larger volume – from landfill – comes in dirtier due to contamination from organic waste.