About the initiative
Our management of materials is mainly focused on the packaging used for delivering the products sold through Mercado Libre.
All our packaging is recyclable, reusable, or compostable. Our cardboard is sourced from a supply chain that is either certified by or in the process of being certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). 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.
To achieve a permanent reduction in the amount of packaging, we implemented in 2020 the option for some products to be transported in their primary packaging without the need for additional packaging, resulting in a reduction in material usage and the amount of air transported in the last mile. Pilot projects conducted in Brazil and Argentina showed reductions in transported air of up to 40%.
This project was implemented in all major distribution centers (fulfillments) in the region in 2022: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia. During the year, the project reached 10.93% of the total volume of goods shipped and achieved a 50% reduction in the space occupied and the time to dispatch the goods.
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 regional recycling program based on on-site waste segregation, and selective waste collection. More than 85% 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 material is recovered and sent for recycling and production of new boxes or cardboard.
We have also implemented a reverse logistics program, which is offered to sellers and has the potential to reuse around 40% of the total volume of exchanged or returned items. Since its launch in Brazil in 2021, we have recovered approximately 97% of the items that have been returned or exchanged on the platform. In 2022, we expanded this initiative to include electronics and fashion products, covering all countries in which we operate, across 16 Mercado Libre distribution centers.
Products that cannot be reused due to some type of issue are sent to the circular economy network, which already has over 200 partners throughout the region. This initiative allows us to recover an average of 100,000 products per month.
In our Brazil headquarters we have two industrial composters that recover approximately 1 ton of organic waste per day, and turn it into fertilizer. The fertilizer is donated to the communal garden programs, through the Coopernatuz Cooperative, which creates jobs for more than 70 people.
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.
Since 2020, program results have been unusual because our offices were closed most of the time. Therefore, the recovery rates do not match the rates from previous years.
100% of our packages and packing items are recyclable, reusable or compostable.
100% certified cardboard or in the process of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification.
7,606 tons of reused waste.
16,987 tons of waste destined for recycling.
98 tons of composted waste.