Intcomex Promotes Recycling Culture

On April 22, Mother Earth Day was celebrated, a date on which the United Nations (UN) took the opportunity to remind us that today “the oceans are filling with plastics and becoming more acidic. Extreme heat, wildfires, and floods, as well as a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season, have affected millions of people. Now we are facing COVID-19, a global health pandemic with a strong link to the health of our ecosystem.”

Intcomex, more specifically in its subsidiary in Ecuador, has taken the first step in the spirit of collaborating with the preservation of the ecosystems that support all forms of life on Earth.

Since 2013, the company has focused on becoming a responsible producer, meaning that it monitors the transit of the products used in its processes until the end of their useful life.

“As soon as we started with this initiative, we signed an agreement with the only certified environmental manager of disused electronic waste in Ecuador. At that time, we began to recycle non-hazardous products or waste, specifically cell phones,” says Marilú Ruiz, Industrial Safety and Environmental Technician at Intcomex Ecuador.

Subsequently, the company entered a strategic alliance with the environmental faculty of the Universidad Internacional Sek Ecuador. This plan was supported by interns from the school, who collaborated in recycling campaigns.

Continuous Work

“We have also carried out the RECICLAX program in Guayaquil and Quito,” explains Ruiz, “with the advertising of the campaigns, and the support of brands such as HP and KlipXtreme. The interns contacted schools where internal campaigns were carried out and we provided them with an incentive through our brand support. We recycled all kinds of unused equipment.”

Although last year, due to the pandemic, the recycling efforts have been a challenge, the project has been maintained, based on internal recycling campaigns with the company’s personnel and some smaller channels.

“We want not only to comply with the regulations but also to be a relevant actor in the fulfillment of the recycling and awareness-raising objectives,” says the person in charge of environmental policies at Intcomex Ecuador. 

Leading by Example

In the last two years, the company has teamed up with managers and other distributors to join forces in the recycling effort. As a result, it is a founding member of the Ecuadorian Corporation of Extended Producer Responsibility.

“In the corporation, what moves us, as founding partners, is to bring in more actors and lead the operational part of meeting the proposed goals,” says Ruiz. “We are also in charge of publicity and awareness. We have given training to the channels when they do not have sufficient knowledge of the regulations and we show them how to start the recycling process. The idea is to create a chain in which all parties add up”.

Intcomex Ecuador, within the group, promotes training and its outreach has been extended not only to the recycling of electronic parts but also of tires, batteries, waste, and unused materials from equipment. “We join the collective campaigns because with everything that is collected along the chain, we are nurturing this environmental awareness,” he adds.

A Grain of Sand

The initiative led by Intcomex Ecuador is a general slogan of the company, which is present throughout the region. For example, in Costa Rica, the local subsidiary has been part of the Reciclatón campaign led by HP, which seeks to recycle ink and toner supplies so that they become new products, preventing them from ending up in the ocean or waste areas.

“I think this can be replicated in all countries. It is the same as safety and health issues, which are common to all. It is the same with the environment. We are all compatriots of this same planet, so overall, the consequences of climate change are suffered by all of us. So, we must have a recycling conscience, starting with garbage, paper, cardboard, and plastic. We put a grain of sand, which if we do it in a macro way can help us to create awareness on a larger scale”, concludes Ruiz.