Collaborating with FMCG companies in Latin America

As consumer trends shift towards sustainability, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies are focused on how to reduce the environmental impact of their products and operations. 

Geocycle supports industries’ goals to manage their waste sustainably and work toward plastic neutrality. Our teams in Latin America tailor our solutions to local challenges, tackling the impact of FMCGs throughout the value chain.

Managing packaging waste in Latin America

Packaging accounts for 50% of the 360 million tons of plastic waste generated annually.1 

FMCGs are packaged products that are sold quickly and at a low cost, such as household goods, food, toiletries and cosmetics. Waste from these types of products is produced both in the production phase and in the post-consumer phase. These manufacturing and packaging materials often get sent to landfills. 

In Latin America, many municipalities do not have the funds needed to invest in recycling and recovery initiatives and infrastructure. While some countries have set recycling and recovery targets, they are not always acted upon. This further fuels a reliance on landfills. In 2020, landfills in Latin America and the Caribbean received over 145,000 tons of waste per day, and this amount rises every year.

These landfills contribute to air and water pollution, negatively impacting the health of the local community and the surrounding environment. As populations in this region continue to grow, waste management becomes more of a challenge, particularly for FMCGs. 

1 Alliance to end plastic waste 
2 United Nations Environment Programme

Solutions for every step of the product lifecycle

Geocycle has been focused on supporting FMCGs in Latin America with waste recovery and recycling since 2005. 

Our solutions focus on three key areas from production through consumption: 

  • Management of waste from the production process, such as sludge, personal protective equipment and solid waste 
  • Physical destruction of non-compliant or defective materials for brand protection 
  • Plastic neutrality by recovering materials from municipal solid waste and valorizing the equivalent of the plastic used for product packaging

Supporting Nestlé’s sustainability goals

At the start of 2019, Nestlé furthered its commitment to managing packaging waste and achieving plastic neutrality. Trusting Geocycle’s expertise in waste management, they contacted our team in Latin America to deploy waste management solutions. 

To achieve this, we implemented mechanical sorting stations at landfills to sort and recover packaging waste. The materials collected are then sent to one of Geocycle’s recycling facilities to be shredded and mixed before being transformed into resources for cement production. 

This initiative also recovers different waste streams with biogenic content – such as cardboard and paper – which in landfill release significant methane emissions. Handling this biogenic content helps Nestlé reduce its emissions from landfill, underlining its commitment to reaching net zero.

"Nestlé Costa Rica managed to collect and divert 56.6 tons of plastic waste from landfills and oceans in October 2020 alone. We are very pleased to have allies like Geocycle who share our vision of a planet without waste.”

Sandra Jiménez, General Manager of Nestlé Costa Rica

In October 2020, Nestlé Costa Rica became the company's first market in the Americas to neutralize the equivalent of 100% of its post-consumer plastic waste. 

With the continued support of Geocycle, both Nestlé Costa Rica and Nestlé Mexico attained plastic neutrality for the entirety of 2021.


tons of plastic waste diverted from landfill

100 %

of post-consumer plastic waste neutralized

The future of FMCG waste

Geocycle Latin America continues to explore new ways to scale up our operations and prepare for the future with our FMCG customers. We are currently working with Alas Doradas in El Salvador and Fifco and Dos Pinos in Costa Rica. 

Our team is also working with ECOCE, a non-profit civil association in Mexico dedicated to promoting proper management of packaging waste in the food and beverage industry. Together, our teams are developing initiatives to reach plastic neutrality and looking for more circular solutions for plastic waste.