From Scrap to Everest: Aretha Duarte's Journey and How the Circular Economy Propelled Her

Published on Wednesday, 22 November 2023

Aretha Duarte achieved an incredible feat by becoming the first black Latin American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which stands at a height of 8,848 meters above sea level. Her achievement inspires and motivates those who strive to fulfill their dreams, no matter how difficult and unattainable they may seem.

Despite the worsening COVID-19 pandemic scenario, Aretha and her team reached the summit of Everest in May 2021. Their journey had already been captured in a biography titled "Da Sucata ao Everest - A Saga de Aretha Duarte" and has now been turned into a documentary called "Aretha no Everest," sponsored by Enel. The documentary allows viewers to follow every step of their arduous journey.

Aretha Duarte used an important Circular Economy strategy to finance her ascent to the summit of Everest: recycling. Over a year, she collected over 130 tons of waste of different types and sold them to the recycling industry. The value obtained from these sales, along with other actions and the help of companies involved in the venture, made her dream a reality. Recycling not only has significant environmental benefits, but it's also a valuable strategy that transforms waste into new inputs and brings essential economic and social returns. Through recycling, Aretha reached the highest point on Earth, demonstrating that garbage has value and that reusing it can help make seemingly impossible dreams come true.