Innovation That Matters

Amazonian store swaps recyclables for food


A new eco-friendly shop has being established in the Amazon that lets customers swap plastics and aluminium cans for food.

Everyone on planet earth needs to make an effort to keep our world green and clean, including the more remote regions such as the Amazon rainforest. And recently a new store called Troc Troc – Supermercado Consciente has opened for business that lets customers swap plastics and aluminium cans for food.

The idea has been led by Benki Piyako, spiritual leader of the Ashaninka Tribe in collaboration with the House of Indians. Their Troc Troc market has been established in Marechal de Thaumaturgo in the state of Acre (which borders Brazil and Peru). Customers bring in plastics and aluminium cans, which are then weighed and exchanged for food vouchers. The store only stocks locally grown produce, as a means to help local farmers maintain sustainability. If the materials are brought in clean, the customer will be given 20 percent more food. The store then processes the raw materials and sends them to the nearby recycling plant in Rio Branco.

They currently have a crowdfunding page on Indiegogo’s Generosity site, where at the time of writing they’ve raised USD 1,290 (against a goal of USD 55,000) and they’re hoping to expand into a network of stores. It’s not the first time we’ve seen recycled plastic being used as currency in South America – in Colombia, travel card credit has been offered in exchange for plastics, and in Brazil beer cans have also been traded-in for train journeys. Could such initiatives like this work in your country?



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