Plasticolor 4

Recycling Solid Waste Material

Plasticolor SUE

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

Plasticolor SUE is a company that was made with the intention of diminishing the large amount of global waste. Global waste is at a very high point today so it only makes sense to recycle as many materials as possible rather than feed such a large amount of waste to a landfill that will end up getting buried. Plasticolor representative, Carlos Cortes, spoke on how the company is part of a large alliance with other businesses with the same idea in mind. They are teamed up with many other companies and Plasticolor SUE proposed to be the main focus amongst all others.


Authors

KARI BERARD

KARI BERARD

Angela Fonseca

Angela Fonseca

Jacob Darensbourg

Jacob Darensbourg

School

Nicholls State University

Nicholls State University

Professor

Christopher Castille

Christopher Castille

Innovation

Plasticolor came together to figure out the best way to eliminate waste and having done so, Carlos Cortes stated “we decided to transform our company into a construction company with engineering that would help us expand our panorama of action.” The way that they would go about decreasing a large amount of waste is by using recycled plastic to create construction materials.

Becoming an eco-friendly construction company was not something that Plasticolor could achieve alone at that certain time. Cortes continued by saying that “we did not have the necessary capital, so that is why we decided to make this a model of strategic alliances to help us with this project.” A strategic alliance with multiple other companies would help them manage funds, keep multiple projects in order, and relieve a large amount of stress. This would reduce the workload for the small number of Plasticolor employees.

Plasticolor SUE is innovative in its approach to reducing the amount of waste in its community. The way that they approached this was by proposing strategies to commercialize, transform, and dispose of plastic. Construction is something that will never lose its niche to something else, whereas something like loose-leaf paper lost its niche because of the large number of computers being used today. Construction will always be a thing because development happens everywhere and it is very hard to imagine it being replaced by anything.


Recycling Solid Waste Material

Inspiration

This business idea started off as a way to inform and teach people about the benefits and different uses of recycled materials. From the beginning, the project has had a positive impact since they were doing this innovation in one of the Plasticolor SUE representatives' hometowns. Carlos Cortes and his colleague started this business after they received master's degrees in Brazil. As time went by they ended up turning the business’s focus towards industrial, social, and environmental matters. Their business is located where the biggest emerald mines zone in Colombia is. Carlos mentions something known as the “green war” which essentially means that there were a lot of companies trying to benefit and make money from that natural source; the emeralds. At the time bigger companies were trying to expand their businesses to other countries, Carlos and his colleagues realized that they wanted to help their own community and try to keep the business locally as well as create a product that could bring them a monetary benefit. Their main goal was to be able to cause a positive impact on their own community. “We decided that the population could begin to have development alternatives born from new models that would help with the community’s sustainability.”

Overall impact

They have complied with their goal of not only selling a product that benefits the environment and a source of income for them, but they have also reached their goal of providing people with pertinent information about the benefits of recycling materials that turn out to have another use such as the products they sell for construction. The source of the materials they use to create materials for houses and other infrastructures varies, but they mainly use solid waste, in this case, plastic, has helped them inform people on how they can have a positive impact on the environment by starting in their own houses recycling plastic bottles and other plastic materials. “We began to increase in the industrial part but we also began to evaluate the models that exist around the management of solid waste mainly and the sustainability of the country." The short-term benefits Plasticolor SUE started off with were to pass on the knowledge they had acquired while studying abroad. As for the long-term effects, this company not only is their source of income but also helps other local businesses. Carlos mentioned that they often have a number of materials in stock, but most of their products are made upon request for special infrastructures. Many of these special materials are for other small-owned businesses that help with the town’s economy such as small farms.


Business benefit

This company has many global goals for sustainable development and has created many partnerships. They work closely with the Boyapaz Corporation and the Muzo Foundation to make improvements and offer sustainable solutions to waste problems. In the interview, Carlos Cortes explained how the alliances for a circular economy became beneficial for their society as a whole. He said, ”First, manage projects, second, enter public policies, third, articulate this with a system that could transform and remove all this waste from all these cities, which by the way these places are very biodiverse.” With its specialized business infrastructure, this company is solving climate change and sanitation by managing solid waste. They formed the business in 2017 and since then have faced the storming and norming stages in which they encouraged unity and cohesion. After 5 years of business, they are continuously improving and performing. This company continues to reach out to the community by presenting facts about the relationship between greenhouse gases in solid waste. Their presentations explain how climate change can be accelerated due to irresponsible consumption and waste. To generate entrepreneurship models they participated in the presentation of the Engineer Carlos Uriel Cortés. This presented facts to 200 people about managing the transformation of post-consumer plastic. They have enhanced flourishing relationships with their allies: Fundacion Muzo, Boyapaz, Uptc, Unisangil, Sena, Carmen de Carupa, Santo Tomas, and Boyaca. They encourage positive deviance by encouraging young leaders to build balanced relationships with their environment. Finally, they foster innovation with pedagogical campaigns for environmental awareness and consultant services. The 10-12 employees of Plasticolor Sue are focused on the Comprehensive Management of Usable Solid Waste.


Social and environmental benefit

Plastocolor Sue is approximately 2,002 miles from Nicholls State University. This company is located at, Cra. 8 #19-113, Chiquinquirá, Boyacá, Colombia, which is about 200 miles from the coast of the South Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Carlos Cortes explained in the interview that “the lack of employment in the territory and the number of locals that decided to move out of the territory was something that prompted us to return to the roots to contribute something to that economic model and issues in the social and business aspect of the region.” This environmental consultant company has initiated a Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan (PGIRS) in the community since 2017. Chiquinquirá, Boyacá has a population of 72,274, and the population of Thibodaux, Louisiana is 14,494; in this comparison, we can see why there was a lack of employment due to population. This company has shown the global goal for sustainable development by exercising responsible consumption, they provide a solution to dispose of solid waste. They have incorporated the ReUse, Reduce and Recycle into an everyday lifestyle. Plasticolor has applied principles of supportive communication within educational institutions, residential complexes, shops, parks, churches, and recyclers in the city of Chiquinquirá. They have initiated a successful Educating and Recycling Program and continue to add other municipalities as they communicate with surrounding areas. Currently, they implement their Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan in the city of Chiquinquirá, Briceño, Muzo, and Saboyá.


Interview

Carlos Cortes, Mechanical Engineer

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Plasticolor SUE

Plasticolor SUE

Chiquinquira, Boyacá, CO

Business Website: http://www.plasticolorsue.com/index.html#quienes-somos

Year Founded: 2017

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Plasticolor SUE is a company that was made with the intention of diminishing a large amount of global waste. Global waste is at a very high point today so it only makes sense to recycle as many materials as possible rather than feed such a large amount of waste to a landfill that will end up getting buried. Plasticolor representative, Carlos Cortes, spoke on how the company is part of a large alliance with other businesses with the same idea in mind. They are teamed up with many other companies and Plasticolor SUE proposed to be the main focus amongst all others.