The Mexican government’s environmental agency recently unveiled the Mercado de Trueque, a market where recyclable materials and trash can be exchanged for fresh food.
“This innovative program is designed to show citizens directly and tangibly how what we call trash becomes raw materials. If solid waste is properly separated, it still has value,”writes the Ministry of Environment (in Spanish). The market accepts glass, paper and cardboard, aluminum beverage cans, PET plastic bottles, and returns “green points” redeemable for agricultural products grown in and around Mexico City, including lettuce, prickly pears, spinach, tomatoes, plants, and flowers.
“The intention is to encourage and support the producers of soil conservation in order to raise public awareness of the local supply,” writes the Ministry. “It’s important to consume local products to avoid large shipments of goods, reduce the carbon footprint, generate fair trade and maintain agricultural lands south of the city.”
The effort is an attempt to reduce landfills and encourage citizens to support local agriculture. What a fabulous idea and something states or towns in America should implement to encourage both recycling and local farming.