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Monday, February 18, 2013 | Start Go with the flow 2013

So here we are again, the Editourmobil is back on the road. This time it is taking us from Peru to Brazil, travelling via Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. But the tour in fact began shortly before Christmas. The Editourmobil had to get from Germany to Lima. The maritime freight option was a non-starter for cost reasons and so we ended up going for the Grimaldi Roll-On-Roll-Off ferry from Hamburg to Montevideo in Uruguay. Our Editourmobil spent from Christmas right up to the beginning of February in the belly of a ship. Having arrived in Uruguay our Rolf’s plan was to collect the vehicle and get it to Lima by way of the overland route. However, this was easier said than done; first of all we were several days late flying out from Germany, then we had problems getting the vehicle out of customs, then we didn’t have the registration document and, finally, insuring the vehicle there was more difficult than expected. In the meantime it was Carnival time, the time when, in South America, people concentrate on partying and nobody does any work. The upshot was that Rolf spent almost a week stuck in Uruguay. Had he not had Michael Maier on site to help him with everything you can think of then Rolf would most probably still be there now. Just to come and pick me up from the airport in Lima Rolf needed a full 5 days to cover more than 5 000km and to cross the Andes.

Lima is situated directly on the coast and its impressive features are not limited to colonial-style buildings only. This photo shows the Lacomar shopping centre on the steep cliffs.

I subsequently decided to take a room for 2 nights instead. This meant that the official start of the Go with the Flow Tour kicked off without the Editourmobil. All the more hearty was the reception I got from Sven Brodersen, CEO of SMI Peru. The company is the largest manufacturer of preforms and bottles in the region. He himself puts his market share at 80%. For two years he has also been operating a bottle to bottle facility that transforms the post-consumer PET bottles back into FDA- tested material. Unfortunately recycled packaging material is not yet permitted for foodstuffs under regional legislation so the plant, which is working at full capacity, is operating for export only.

Sven Boderson (SMI Peru) and Alex Büchler (PETplanet) inspect the empty bottle plant