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Creation date: 2009

Country: Spain

Location: Arrigorriaga

Sector of activity: Energy, utilities and environment

Social issue: Diversity (people in state of exclusion, minorities and people with disabilities) · Environment and rural settings

Bioservice is a Basque company participating in Momentum 2014 that offers its customers an environmentally-friendly collection service with special containers for empty printer cartridges and old cellphones. It also collects and sorts this waste and sends it to companies for reuse or recycling.

In addition to the benefit that this social venture implies for the environment, Bioservice employs people with disabilities. Its employees' lives take a radical turn when they join this company: “Being employed is a path to personal self-improvement, but actively participating in a company makes them feel valued and part of the project”, says Alejandro Javier Pedro, manager of Bioservice.

This company is noteworthy for the environmentally-friendly way it deals with non-reusable cartridges to ensure they do not end up as landfill, which would have a enormous negative impact on the environment. According to Alejandro Javier, “A cartridge may contain approximately 2 kilos of plastic, metal and chemicals. It can take more than 400 years for some of these plastics to biodegrade if they end up as landfill". The company also has its eye on cellphones: "These are complex devices that include a printed circuit board, a liquid crystal display (LCD), keyboard, antenna, loudspeaker, microphone and battery. Together, the PCB and LCD account for 98% of the environmental impact of the cellphone during its production and recycling”, says Alejandro Javier. These components contain persistent bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs) that have been associated with cancer and other reproductive, neurological and developmental disorders.

Bioservice also runs programs for schools to encourage children to reuse cartridges, and has even created a children's story entitled “The adventures of Cartuchón and little Tintan”. The idea is that children should learn about recycling and encourage awareness among their parents and family members. Only that way, by educating the coming generations, can we minimize the impact of human activity on the environment.

Cover video Bioservice