About the iniciative
Our management of materials is mainly focused on the packages used for delivering the products sold through Mercado Libre.
Material value chain
All our packages are recyclable, reusable, or compostable. The cardboard we use has traceability in its value chain certified or in the process of being certified with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) seal. The FSC standard ensures that the product is manufactured under responsible forest management practices. In addition, all the boxes used by our operations currently include at least 30% of recycled cardboard.
In 2020, we opened up the possibility for some products to be carried in their primary packaging, without any additional packaging items, with the goal of achieving a steady reduction in the amount of material used. The initiative actually decreased the quantity of materials and also the air transported in the last-mile delivery. The pilot metering conducted in Argentina showed up to a 40% reduction in air transported.
At our distribution centers and offices, we have implemented key material recovery programs aiming at reusing resources in new production cycles.
Since 2015, we have advanced a recycling program based on on-site waste segregation, and waste selective collection. More than 70% of the materials used are recovered with the participation of our local partners in all our distribution centers. Particularly in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, the cardboard used is included in the recovery circuit to produce the boxes that we later buy for our operations. This practice ensures a 100% recirculation of the material.
In our Brazil headquarters, for example, two industrial composters recover approximately 1 ton of organic waste per day, and the transform it into fertilizer. The fertilizer is donated to the communal garden program, but this information is previous to the Covid-19 pandemic, during normal operations.
Our program to recover electric and electronic equipment has extended the life cycle of devices that are no longer in use. These are donated to social organizations, such as Fundación Vivienda Digna and Fundación Equidad in Argentina, and La protectora in Chile.
In 2021, we donated more than 800 IT devices. Since 2020, program results have been unusual because our offices were closed most of the time. Therefore, the 2020 recovery rates do not match the rates from previous years.
100% of our packages and packing items are recyclable, reusable or compostable.
+ 11,000 tons of cardboard recovered by Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico’s distribution centers.
+ 33 tons of recovered materials by our offices (organic waste and recyclable materials).
1 ton of organic waste recovered every week.