Brazil launches credit certificate to encourage recycling

Measure encourages investments in waste reuse

Translation: Mário Nunes | Edition: Valéria Aguiar

The Brazilian government launched on Wednesday (April 13) the Recicla+ Program, which establishes the Recycling Credit Certificate (CCR in the original Portuguese acronym)). The measure formulated by the Ministries of Economy and Environment shall stimulate private investments in the recycling of products and packaging disposed of by consumers. At the event, President Jair Bolsonaro signed the decree that regulates the certificate.

The government estimates a potential investment of BRL 14 billion ($ 2,9 billion dollars) per year in the recycling sector. The calculation takes into account how much the country fails to earn annually by not recycling a large part of materials and packaging disposed of after consumption

Through the Recycling Credit Certificate, collectors' cooperatives, municipalities, consortia, private initiative, and individual micro-entrepreneurs will be able to request the credit certificate, based on the electronic invoice issued for the sale of recyclable materials. This document is the guarantee that packages or products subject to reverse logistics have been, in fact, returned to the production cycle.

According to the government, all invoices used to issue the recycling credit will undergo a rigorous approval process, which will attest to the veracity, authenticity, and uniqueness of the invoice, in addition to the traceability of the material collected. Each ton is equivalent to a credit, which can be sold to companies that need to prove that reverse logistics goals have been met.

Currently, Brazilian legislation requires that manufacturers, importers, distributors, and traders of various types of products, such as tires, lamps, oils, pesticides, electronics, plastic, glass or metal packaging, among other materials, promote the collection and disposal for recycling after consumption. This is called reverse logistics. According to the government's calculations, around 1 million recyclable material collectors in the country will be able to benefit from the CCR, besides the companies themselves, which can achieve their reverse logistics goals in a faster and less bureaucratic way.

Photo: Valter Campanato | Agência Brasil

"This program, in fact, certifies the 800 thousand simple Brazilians who become recycling agents. And, on the other hand, these companies acquire recycling credits. The cost will drop around 80 percent for private companies that do their own reverse recycling logistics. And, at the same time, we will be able to transfer between BRL 200 ($ 42 dollars) and BRL 250 ($ 53 dollars) to each of those 800 thousand Brazilians who already have an average salary of almost BRL 1 thousand ($ 213 dollars). So, an increase of 20 to 25 percent in the salary of the most humble Brazilians," noted Economy Minister Paulo Guedes.

"We are going to work with all links in the chain, with special attention to garbage collectors, who become recycling agents. Collecting separate waste in each house, each building, will be a complementary activity and an extra income for these garbage collectors," said Environment Minister Joaquim Leite.


During the ceremony, President Jair Bolsonaro also signed the decree establishing the National Solid Waste Plan, an instrument provided for by the federal government's National Solid Waste Policy, created by Law 12,305/2010. Awaited for more than a decade, the plan establishes guidelines, strategies, actions, and goals to improve solid waste management in the country. In addition to closing all dumps, already provided for by law, the plan foresees an increase in waste recycling to around 50 percent in 20 years. Currently, only 2.2 percent of urban solid waste is recycled.

According to the Environment Ministry, the plan also foresees an increase in the recycling of civil construction waste to 25 percent, encourages the recycling of materials, contributes to the creation of green jobs and enables compliance with international commitments and multilateral agreements signed by Brazil.