Region in focus

Interview with Laila Munayer and Leonardo Velasco

To learn more about the activities in the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean region (MXCA-Cari), we have invited Laila Munayer and Leonardo Velasco for an interview.
Laila is the sustainability manager of ALPLA Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. She has been at ALPLA for nearly three years. Her daily work is based on three pillars: sustainability, external communication and public affairs.
Leonardo Velasco is the head of APE, Regional Plant Engineering, MXCA-Cari. Leonardo has been working at ALPLA for 17 years and has 28 years of experience in the packaging industry.



Laila, the construction of the new recycling plant from PLANETA was started in Mexico this year – a joint investment by ALPLA and Coca-Cola FEMSA. What is the capacity of the facility and when will it become operational?

Laila: ALPLA and our strategic partner, Coca-Cola FEMSA, are investing over 60 million dollars in the new recycling plant PLANETA (Planta Nueva Ecología de Tabasco) where food-grade rPET is produced. After its planned start of operation in 2024, the facility will process up to 50,000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles, resulting in an output of approximately 35,000 tonnes of rPET. This material will then be promptly used for manufacturing new bottles, ensuring a closed bottle-to-bottle loop.

Furthermore, this facility will contribute to environmental conservation and boost the local economy by developing 18 aggregation centres in Mexico. That means that ALPLA supports the collection of post-consumer plastics by paying for the receipt of used PET bottles. In doing so, ALPLA offers individuals a means of earning an income, creates a financial incentive for the responsible use of recyclable plastic and, at the same time, reduces waste and plastic leakage.

These 18 centres will be added to the existing nine aggregation centres in the ALPLA MXCA-Cari region, all in Mexico but one in the Dominican Republic.

Laila Munayer
Sustainability Manager, MXCA-Cari

With PLANETA, an important step is being taken to promote sustainability in the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean region. What else is being done to reduce the carbon footprint?

Laila: In collaboration with the ALPLA Corporate Sustainability team, a regional project has been developed to conduct the first greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean region. Following the methodology defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, we have measured our regional impacts in Scopes 1, 2 and 3. Understanding where we stand in terms of our emissions is the first crucial step in developing efficient strategies to reduce our carbon footprint. In doing so, we are contributing to achieving our decarbonisation goals set forth in the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).


Leonardo, can you give us some details on what role renewable energy plays in the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean region and how it contributes to decreasing the carbon footprint?

Leonardo: The use of renewable energy plays a significant role in our decarbonisation efforts. For example, wind power is an important option available in the region: we have a stake in a wind farm in Mexico, through which we have been able to supply up to 60% of the electricity demands of our plants for the last 12 years. Our goal is to continuously evaluate how we can increase the amount of renewable energy usage.

Leonardo Velasco
Head of APE, Regional Plant Engineering, MXCA-Cari

One final question for you, Laila: This year, the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean region adopted a green area in a state park in Toluca, Mexico. What exactly does this involve?

Laila: That’s right. Through the adoption programme, we have committed to reforesting and maintaining two green areas in ‘Parque Alameda 2000’ in Toluca, Mexico, for a period of three years. The areas cover nearly two hectares. Once a year, ALPLA employees and their families participate in a reforestation day, which has enabled us to plant over 1,300 trees in these two years. This planting effort is estimated to remove approximately 15,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, assuming that one tree absorbs12 kilograms of CO2 per year.

Caring for the park area is one of the initiatives we are pleased to implement as part of our commitment to providing solutions for a safe and sustainable global life. It is important that these projects also have positive impacts at the local level in the communities where we operate.