Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean sea and is one of the most biodiverse territories of the United States. Currently, Puerto Rico lacks an efficient solid waste management system that promotes recycling. For this reason, materials like glass end up polluting the soil and the sea. Our project will support the value chain of glass with recycling initiatives and using the material gathered as raw materials for local companies to create sustainable construction materials and rebuild Puerto.
Puerto Rico suffers from a waste management crisis that Hurricane Maria worsened in 2017 and the earthquakes in 2020, which shortened the lifespan of all 29 recognized landfills. Currently, 18 out of those 29 landfills do not comply with national and federal regulations, and 11 of those 18 have closing orders from the Environmental Protection Agency, leaving Puerto Rico in a soon to be a sanitary and environmental hazardous situation for more than 3 million people.
We will connect and support the value chain for glass recycling alongside civil society members, the public sector and businesses of 5 municipalities. We shall work in 7 identified pillars to divert 1.5 tons of glass from landfills in what is left of 2021 and transform it into sustainable construction materials. We'll mobilize the circular economy industry, recovering the value chain for glass on the island, and protecting biodiversity.
Be the first island of the Caribbean to achieve by 2030 a circularity of 60% for different waste streams. Close the cycle for glass in Puerto Rico as a starting point to demonstrate to civil society that it is possible to generate employment, innovation, industries and help the environment by connecting us all to the same purpose. Also, the project will give resiliency in solid waste management in cases of emergency which are more likely to occur in the Caribbean due to climate change.
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