Bolivia: a virtual fair for recycling businesses

Green cities
Traffic in Bolivia is increasing, leading to more waste from the transport sector. Much of this waste can be recycled. This is a market opportunity for companies in the recycling sector and, at the same time, recycling protects the environment. A Swisscontact project is helping recycling companies to grow and improve their sustainability. Due to the measures to contain COVID-19, however, project activities had to be adapted within a short period of time.

The supported companies recycle waste from the transport sector such as tyres, scrap metal or vehicle batteries. In order to make the companies’ services better known in the industry, the project had planned a business fair for the end of June. 

The project team, however, quickly realised that this was not a realistic plan due to the measures taken to contain the pandemic. They adapted and now plan to hold the fair virtually. 

Exhibitor platform and networking events

What is a virtual trade fair? Just like at a normal trade fair, there will be topical forums. The title of this webinar series is "Recycling as a new business model". Photos and videos of the products and services will be shown on an exhibitor platform. This platform will also be available after the trade fair and will complement the companies’ marketing. Networking, a central aspect of trade fairs, also takes place via online channels. The Chamber of Industry of Cochabamba, a partner in the project, organises these virtual meetings and hosts the platform. 

A model for the future

Planning the technical implementation takes great effort but it is also an investment for the future. "We believe virtual trade fairs will increase. The costs of logistics and coordination are much lower. And the potential to reach customers across borders is higher than with on-site exhibitions," says Swisscontact employee Carola Ortuño Rojas.  

The project "Mercados para el Reciclaje" is financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation.