Since late 2012, the Brazilian Ministry of Environment received proposals from the business sector on how they intend to comply with the National on Solid Waste (Law 12,305/2010) whereby manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers are obligated to reduce the environmental impact caused after the consumption of its products.
According to the law, these companies are required to develop and use packagings that facilitate reuse and recycling, as well as establishing procedures for the return of used products or packaging (reverse logistics).
The National Policy on Solid Waste provides procedures by which the terms for the fulfillment of these obligations are discussed and established sectorally, with the participation of companies. At this moment, the Ministry of Environment discusses timelines, goals and obligations that must be observed for the companies of the sector of packaging in general, which involves not only the companies that manufacture plastic, glass, metal and paper packages, but also companies that sell food, beverages, cleaning and hygiene products in such packaging.
The main purpose of sectoral agreement, which was attended by 22 associations, provides for the increase of the rate of recovery of recyclable solid waste by 20% and the resulting reduction of 22% of all packages that are sent to landfills or dumps. The expectation is that by 2015 at least 90% of the population living in the cities hosting the World Cup - São Paulo, Curitiba, Cuiaba, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Manaus, Salvador, Recife, Natal, Fortaleza and Brasilia - is attended by the selective collection service. The amount of solid waste generated in these capital represents approximately 23% of urban waste (by weight) of the country. If we consider the metropolitan areas around these cities, the rate rises to 38%. The second phase, from 2015, provides a 45% reduction of the waste that is improperly disposed throughout the country.
To achieve these results, one of the main guidelines contained in the document is the establishment of partnerships between companies and cooperatives of waste pickers who gather over 800,000 people in the country. These workers will be responsible for transporting, sorting and selling the material collected. The proposal also provides for investment in the capacity of these cooperatives, with funds for the purchase of machinery and equipment as well as training the collectors. The expansion of the delivery points of recyclable waste in supermarkets and retailers is also a strategy. The idea is that every sales outlet with size greater than or equal to four square meters and a minimum of 115 parking spaces have an area of at least four square meters of "Voluntary Delivery Points".
If this proposal is accepted by the Ministry of Environment, not just the 22 associations that have participated in the proposal, but all companies in the sector will be required to observe the terms of the agreement.