How blz Recicla discovered BRL 160 million within the trash
Returnable bottle treatment collection company is part of the JVCM holding, owner of a beverage distributor and investor of brands such as Better Drinks, Carnivoros Steak Burger and Grão Malte
blz Recicla, one of the businesses owned by businessman Rodrigo Clemente, will cross the ocean with a message on the bottle: recycling is business. With an initial investment of US$ 10 million, the glass hull and discarded materials processing company will open an operation in the United States, starting in Miami. In Europe, it will arrive with loads of wine packaging for Portugal, targeting a local factory in the near future.
“This company was born out of a very specific demand from the beverage industry. A commercial director of a large brewery came to me because there was no hull for the bottling. He challenged me to understand this collection and recycling market, which is still very informal”, says Rodrigo Clemente, CEO of JVMC, the holding company that controls blz Recicla. “We needed to understand how to organize this chain as a whole”.
Part of the JVMC group, blz Recicla started as a complementary business to the holding’s beverage distributor in 2019. Today, it is already the most profitable business unit of the group, which also has a marketing agency and a fintech, also complementary to the ecosystem. .
Clemente’s group’s portfolio also includes stakes in brands such as Better Drinks, Carnívoros Steak Burger and Grão Malte. In 2022, JVMC projects to earn BRL 500 million in all its business units combined and, for the next year, the estimate is to reach BRL 900 million.
With the internationalization of the operation, blz Recicla wants to double its revenues in the first year of operation. In 2021, the returnables collection and treatment company recorded revenue of BRL 60 million. For this year, the projection is R$ 140 million. With the US operation alone, the company expects to make R$ 160 million in the first 12 months.
At the same time, the holding company will strengthen the Brazilian operation of blz Recicla to continue serving clients such as Coca-Cola Femsa, Heineken, Ambev and local cachaçarias. Here, the investment will be R$ 110 million to open two new plants for the treatment of reusable glass hulls, one in Bahia, the other in Rio Grande do Sul, and to expand the scope of operation of the Araçariguama unit, in the interior of São Paulo.
The plan is to start crushing glass bottles that are not ready to be used. Threaded packages, for example, cannot be reused because of the micro-cracks that are created when the consumer unscrews the lid. As of November, the company will deliver 45,000 tonnes of ground glass per month to other recycling companies that continue the process. A crushed bottle can make up up to 80% of new packaging.
Currently, blz Recicla collects and selects more than 700 thousand containers per day for reuse and recycles 98.7% of all aluminum cans that reach the market, according to data from Recicla Latas. Since the beginning of the operation, the company has returned more than 40 million bottles to the trade. In stock, the company has 80 million glass packages.
The inputs arrive via collectors, who take the packages to the collection points. Workers are paid between R$0.15 and R$0.70 per unit, depending on the quality of each hull. Payment is made using a card from blz Bank, the group’s fintech. Also through the neobank, the company pays bar owners and small retailers who return the bottles.
blz Recicla is positioned at a time of raw materials crisis, including glass. Since the beginning of the year, the national beverage industry has suffered from a shortage of material. In Europe, even the automotive sector has suffered from supply disruptions.
Another strategic advantage is the ESG spirit of the business. “We know that the market sees our differential. Everyone is focused on bringing ESG into the business or becoming an investor in the segment,” says Clemente.
Source: Value Pipeline