Argentina: Partnerships to solve solid urban waste challenges

Type of Change: Changes in implementation of practices and programs  

Boundary Level: Community 

Summary/Theme: Fostering partnerships with academia and the private sector in Argentina to solve solid urban waste challenges. Development of internationally certified biodegradable and ecological industrial bags. 

Urban waste pollution has become an increasing threat in Mendoza, Argentina. Plastics and other solid materials are incorrectly disposed of threatening existing water sources. Arg Cap-Net identified the issue and conducted the ‘Environmental Legal Framework for Waste Management and Production’ seminar. It aimed to promote interdisciplinary approaches to solve this challenge and linked to the integrated management of water and waste for inclusive urbanization and environmental sustainability.  

This course triggered Dr. Carlos Cuervo’s inspiration, Director of Mendoza’s Institute of Environmental Law, and few months later he started BONNIE BIO, a small business that offers compostable products (grocery bags, straws, etc.) replacing single-use plastics derived from petroleum.  

The seminar motivated Carlos to articulate scientific knowledge with the needs of the society and the market. He stressed the benefit in meeting and collaborating with other professionals, which was key to building his new business. “BONNIE BIO gives answers to the complex challenges of water pollution caused by unsustainable solid waste management while responding to business needs,”. BONNIE BIO products are internationally certified as biodegradable and they are currently being sold across Argentina. 

In 2020, Carlos also participated in the virtual Arg Cap Net course, ‘Sustainable Cities: The link between water and waste’, complementing and exchanging practices and knowledge in integrated water and waste management to continue improving BONNIE BIO.