With the slogan: ”All together it’s waste – separated it’s a resource”, Mendoza born Gabriela Seijo wants to get porteños into the habit of recycling their household waste by producing easy-to-use recycling bags.
Seijo has been a legislator for the city of Buenos Aires for more than ten years. A member of various commissions and boards, her special focuses are environmental questions and sustainability. It was the crisis in 2001 that encouraged her to step up her participation in politics and effect change for the people of the city. Since then she has served as an advisor in the Cabinet of Ministers and as general director of the CGP in the barrio of Palermo.
Seijo has created and been involved in many projects that aim to make the city more pleasant and sustainable for its citizens. Recent suggestions include: “A global smoke free day”, the support for “Earth Hour” in Buenos Aires, and a “Green Film Festival”. The festival idea was realised in August with 14 ‘green-themed’ movies, with the aim of spreading environmental consciousness.
With her current Ideame project, “Reciclario”, she wants households to start separating their recyclables. The central part of her project involves producing 1,000 sets of bags made of a hyper-resistant, sustainable, washable and, of course, 100% recyclable material, designed specifically for people to be able to separate these residuals in their houses in a way that makes it easier to recycle.
Each set of bags contains two bags: one green bag for mixed recyclables (plastic, glass, metal) and a blue bag for paper and card. They are designed to make it easy to carry them to the collection points.
The goal is to start a chain reaction. The first step is to encourage people to start recycling more regularly in their homes. 1,000 families will receive a free recycling bag to use in their homes. Seijo explains further: “We then hope that these 1,000 families that have been given the bags start influencing their friends and other families to do the same.”
To make it easier for families to adopt this new habit, Seijo has created a website where people, in a clear and fun way, can learn about what they can recycle and which kind of recycling bag it goes into. The website also contains information about collection points in the city, and fun and creative ideas on how to re-use and make the most of your waste.
Since “more than 50% of what households put in their waste bin could be recycled”, Seijo hopes to improve the statistics. “If we recycle this 50% instead,” she suggests, “we would reduce the waste we throw away and we could use it as resource material back into the production chain. We would both save the city money and give it a longer life.”
“As times are changing, we need to change with it,” Seijo concludes. Her intentions are to create a new relationship between politics and civil society to solve problems jointly. This method is especially important for environmental problems where it’s also up to the people to help solve the issue. “Together we, the citizens, can make a difference.” And it all starts with the first 1,000 bags.
For more project information visit Reciclario’s Ideame page: