Stopover in Recife, meeting with Nadja and her recycling ecosystem

After 10 days on the Transatlantic, the Plastic Odyssey and its crew have landed in Brazil. With arrival formalities barely completed, the field team set off to discover recycling initiatives in Recife’s peri-urban communities, accompanied by Nadja…

The queen of recycling in Recife

We are accompanied by Nadja, a young retiree bursting with energy and member of the ACR – Association des Collecteurs et des Recycleurs. On the frantic pace of her Fiat Panda, Nadja takes us to the heart of informal cooperatives, to meet the “Catadores“, the waste collectors;

We soon learn that Nadja is considered the Mother Teresa of recycling in Recife. Her primary aim, with the ACR association, is to train collectors in waste identification and sorting. Properly sorted waste gains added value for resale, and brings not inconsiderable profits for these street collectors. Among our encounters this day, we chat with Lindovaldo and we’re impressed by his knowledge and rigor about recycling processes. Technical manager of a cooperative, Lindovaldo is enthusiastic about Plastic Odyssey’s arrival in Recife, and is willing to give 200% to help us during this stopover. Nadja and Lindovaldo, two key players in Recife’s informal recycling scene, offer us their time and advice, with precious energy and enthusiasm. They are important vectors of encounters that greatly influence the success of our stopover objectives;

Find out more about his daily life in episode 3 of the web series in Brazil:

Creation of a mold to make recycled plastic tiles

By opening their contact book, they facilitate our meeting with Jailson, an industrialist and plasturgist who could make a “tile” mold for our recycling workshop. This mold would make it possible to produce recycled plastic tiles for future stopovers. Jailson explains that his schedule is overloaded and that it will be very complicated to machine this mold in such a short time… Sensitive to recycling and curious about the Plastic Odyssey project, he agreed to come on board for a technical visit of our machines;

To our surprise, he says he’ll do everything he can to help us and deliver the mold before the boat leaves. He kept his promises! The mussel is delivered, just a few minutes before the ship sets sail for Guyana;

Visit to Madeira Plastica

The end of our stopover in Recife was also marked by a meeting with Gabriel, civil construction engineer. Aware that his sector generates a great deal of pollution, he has always dreamed of developing a range of recycled materials to limit the environmental impact of construction; Last October, he opened his own company, Madeira Plastica, which produces imitation wood planks and slats from recycled plastics; We are invited to visit his company. Gabriel explains the workings of his recycling chain and the technical innovations he has implemented. Constructive exchanges and a lasting relationship are born, Gabriel will be a driving force for the Plastic Odyssey community.

This first stopover in Latin America will have marked us by its intensity, both in the sequence of events on board, and in our relations with the Brazilians. And we warmly thank Nadja, Lindovaldo, Jailson and Gabriel, four great characters who opened the doors of Recife’s recycling ecosystem to us.

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