By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Garnier, a division of L’Oréal Paris, in conjunction with Walmart México and the World Research Institute (WRI), a global environmental organization that works with governments and private organizations to protect nature, launched a Mexico-wide program on Sept. 15 to raise money to clean up a portion of Oaxaca’s beaches.
The program consists of Garnier donating 1 peso for every product sold in or through Walmart and its affiliate stores (Superama, Sam’s Club and Aurrerá) between Sept. 15 and Nov. 15, to be used for collecting plastic bottles and other trash along a five-kilometer strip of the Oaxaca coastline in southwestern Mexico.
“We are hoping to collect about 2 million tons of plastic waste,” explained Rodrigo Castellanos, Garnier brand manager in Mexico, during an online media conference on Tuesday, Sept. 28, to announce the project.
“And we also hope to continue expanding the program to other parts of Mexico in the future.”
According to WRI’s Adriana Vejar, who is that organization’s administrative director in Mexico, some 8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans each year.
“In fact,” Vejar said, “a third of all plastic waste ends up in our oceans, potentially threatening marine wildlife and polluting our waters, and with responsible recycling programs, we could reduce that waste by as much as 70 percent.”
The Oaxaca beach cleanup project is part of a larger, 26-point, global Garnier Green Beauty platform to help reduce carbon emissions, cut back on water consumption, become plastic neutral (using only recycled plastic packaging) and promote sustainable production through contracts with eco-friendly sources by the year 2025.
Earlier this year, Garnier Fructis — which from its founding has always been about sustainability — became the first beauty and personal care brand to use 100 percent recycled — and recyclable — packaging, while committing to a cruelty-free platform and the use of natural ingredients.
And by the end of the year, virtually every Fructis plastic bottle will be made from recycled plastic that, in turn, can also be recycled.
Garnier has also set up recycle booths in Mexico where people can turn in their plastic bottles in exchange for credits for future purchases of the brand.