Patrick O'Hare

Dr Patrick O’Hare is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, UK. He received his masters and doctorate in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge and specializes in the anthropology of waste, recycling and labour. He principally conducts research in Latin America, where he has worked with different groups of recyclers in Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico. These range from waste-pickers at the landfill in Montevideo, to recycling plant workers in Buenos Aires, to publishers using recycled cardboard in Guadalajara. His current project focuses on the strengthening of the circular economy through cooperative management in the Uruguayan plastics industry.

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First recycled-cardboard book publisher

The first recognized publisher of libros cartoneros (books made from recycled cardboard) is Eloísa Cartonera (Argentina), based in La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The publishing cooperative was founded in early 2003, when in the wake of the 2001 economic crisis, a group of writers, publishers and waste collectors known as cartoneros banded together to create affordable books from used cardboard, and thus "cartonera publishing" was born. There are now an estimated 250 cardboard publishers in Latin America and beyond.