Recycling LessonS  

FROM Formex


Emilio Fernando

Arely Malacara’s job as environmental coordinator at Magna’s Formex plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico is to get employees excited about recycling and protecting the planet for current and future generations.

Her enthusiasm spills over to her 6 year old son Emilio Fernando, who once asked his mother if he could hug the garbage collector in their neighborhood because he “does important work.”

Arely Malacara, Magna Formex environmental coordinatorand her 6 year old son Emilio Fernando

The most important thing is to take care of the planet that we are giving to our children. We can improve things.

“When he asked me that, I got chills,” said Malacara, a materials engineer who wears a red friendship-style bracelet, a gift from her husband that represents power, strength and good vibes.

Her son also helps to water their three oak trees, some of the hundreds that have been distributed by Magna to Formex employees during Worldwide Environmental Day celebrations.

Malacara’s influence – and that of her colleagues – is extending to other children, thanks to a special recycling initiative here that began during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To avoid spreading the virus in the plant’s cafeteria, Formex eliminated glasses and switched to plastic bottles and aluminum cans in mid-2020. Instead of throwing the items away, the 3,000+ employees in the division collected a half-ton in just 10 days. Malacara helped to coordinate the donation of the recycled materials to an organization that makes wheelchair-accessible benches for local parks.

“This project blended recycling with social responsibility,” said Malacara. “It shows that there are more than 3,000 people supporting our planet in this division. I get super excited when I watch people stand up from lunch and begin to sort their garbage. It’s all part of our effort to save materials, produce energy and save energy as we fight climate change.”

She added: “The most important thing is to take care of the planet that we are giving to our children. We can improve things.”

Emilio Fernando is doing his best to help. When he brushes his teeth, he doesn’t waste water. He turns off lights when he leaves a room. He helps with recycling the trash.

“He’s in kindergarten, but he knows about the purpose of recycling,” said Malacara. “Like the people at Formex, Emilio is doing his share to support the planet.”