Plastic Free July (LFF discretionary grant)

Paraguay Sin Basura

© Paraguay Sin Basura

The mission and vision of Paraguay Sin Basura

The Paraguay Sin Basura Foundation is an environmental organisation that aims to reduce the consumer waste contaminating Paraguay’s waterways and natural spaces. Through our network  of strategic partners, and dedicated campaigns, we advocate for the implementation of circular economy systems with consumer packaging.

We believe in a cleaner and greener Paraguay, where the environment can thrive alongside social and economic development.  Consumer packaging should only exist if it has an economic value for reuse or recycling. Our vision is to empower individuals, companies and the government, to make smarter decisions and to raise awareness of our collective responsibility as custodians of Paraguay's environment.

The problem

With over 800 rivers, Paraguay has the second largest river network in South America, and with some of the highest levels of rainfall in the world, water is at the heart of Paraguayan national identity. The Paraguay and Paraná rivers flow through Argentina into the Atlantic Ocean, and sadly now carry a host of microplastics and other waste with them. These not only affect the local environment, but go beyond and out to other oceans, affecting marine and human health. 80% of consumer waste that ends up in the world’s oceans come from rivers.  

Paraguay is experiencing an influx of single use packaging, as the country adopts the faster paced habits of the modern world. However, consumer waste in Paraguay does not yet have adequate disposal. Over 60% of consumer waste ends up in rivers, buried in the open air, or burned. With big rainfall, drains get blocked, creating stagnant breeding grounds for dengue mosquitos and other diseases. Plastics and metals are transformed into microparticles that are inhaled, or consume in water and food, with significant risks to our health.

The challenge

Consumer waste contamination has become a social, health, education, infrastructure, economic and environmental issue not just in Paraguay, but in the world. Between the state, companies and citizens, it is a shared responsibility. The challenge of Paraguay Sin Basura is to bring all stakeholders together to create habits and systems of change for a future where packaging never becomes waste.

© Paraguay Sin Basura

Plastic Free July - our dedicated campaign

This year The Levine Family Foundation (LFF) has helped fund Paraguay’s Plastic Free July campaign, a global campaign present in over 180 countries. It has been adapted by Paraguay Sin Basura, to encourage consumers and industry to reduce the over production and consumption of single use plastics, specifically those that do not have any value for recycling in Paraguay. The campaign educates not only the about problem, but about the solutions and alternatives to single use plastics.

© Paraguay Sin Basura

This year’s focus is on the commonplace situations where Paraguayan’s consume huge quantities of single use plastics: an Asado BBQ, a child’s birthday party, the delivery of fast food, and in our bathrooms. With the funding from LFF, Paraguay Sin Basura was able to produce compelling ‘hero shots’ and communicate them across online and media platforms. The campaign opened for the first time a dialogue with supermarkets on their shared responsibility to reduce the quantity of unnecessary packaging from their produce, from plastic bags to syrofoam trays. The public were able to engage with a host of activities, from clean ups and eco fairs to online challenges, with the focus being to educate and stimulate discussion and action around this topic.

© Paraguay Sin Basura