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COMMUNITY FAIR TRADE RECYCLED PLASTIC

WE’RE COMMITTED TO TACKLING THE PLASTIC CRISIS DIFFERENTLY

We want to find a use for the plastic that already exists in the world. By using Community Fair Trade recycled plastic from India, where almost a third of waste goes uncollected, we’re fighting for people and the planet by supporting plastic ‘waste pickers’ with access to more sanitary working conditions, a fair price and the respect and recognition they deserve.

Plastic on beach

THE PROBLEM WITH PLASTIC

It’s no secret that plastic pollution has become a global crisis and the planet is drowning in plastic. It affects marine and ocean life, but it affects people too.

In India, almost a third of waste is uncollected. This has led to an estimated 1.5 million ‘waste pickers’ - unsung heroes who work tirelessly to clean up their city’s streets in this informal sector. Waste pickers are mostly made up of ‘dalits’ (formally known as ‘untouchables’), the lowest social group in India’s caste system. This means that they are vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and poor working conditions.

That’s why we want to do more than fight pollution. We want to drive social change and help to empower people, too. In Bengaluru, we’re working with our Community Fair Trade partners Plastics for Change who work with waste pickers to give them the support and recognition they deserve.

FOUR WAYS PLASTIC WASTE AFFECTS PEOPLE

Compressed plastic

NO WASTE MANAGEMENT

Over 3 billion people around the planet are living in countries without waste management – that’s almost half of the world’s population.

Woman working with plastic waste

WASTE PICKERS ARE VULNERABLE

India alone has 1.5 million waste pickers working in the informal sector to clean up their streets and cities.

Woman working with plastic waste

VOLATILE PRICING

In 2015, the price waste pickers received for the plastic they collected dropped by 60%*. The price has recently dropped even further.

Women holding plastic bottles

EXPLOITATION

Waste pickers are vulnerable to harassment, displacement and limited access to decent health and financial services.

*60% price drop data provided by Plastics for Change, based on their research.

Women working with plastic waste

WHAT WE’RE DOING TO HELP

We’re committed to tackling the plastic crisis differently. Not using plastic isn’t the only answer – something has to be done about the huge amount of recyclable plastic already exists in the world. If used responsibly plastic can be sustainable, so we’re figuring out what to do with the plastic already out there. That’s why we’ve forged a new Community Fair Trade partnership in Bengaluru, India to buy recycled plastic, which helps empower waste pickers with access to more sanitary working conditions, a fair price and the respect and recognition they deserve.

MEET OUR COMMUNITY FAIR TRADE PARTNERS, PLASTICS FOR CHANGE

Plastics for Change are a for-profit organisation that partners with local NGOs Hasiru Dala and Hasiru Dala Innovation (HDI) to provide Bengaluru’s waste pickers with a stable income and better opportunities.

These partnerships help integrate marginalised waste workers and waste pickers into organised waste management by utilising their expertise. For HDI, their main focus is improving the livelihoods of waste pickers so that they can boost their entrepreneurial skills. They also provide training for other useful skills, including urban gardening.

CASE STUDY: THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE OUR PARTNERSHIP POSSIBLE

Annamma

MEET ANNAMMA

Annamma was a waste picker since she was a child. Now she is a manager of a Dry Waste Collection Centre.

With the help of Plastics for Change and Hasiru Dala, Annamma received managerial training and now employs a number of people, including her husband. Annamma’s daughter is attending a plastic engineering course. Annamma wants her daughter to stay in the waste management business.

Krishna

MEET KRISHNA

He had a difficult childhood watching his mother struggle when they lost his father, but discovering he could make money from waste picking allowed him to build his future.

With the help of Plastics for Change and Hasiru Dala, Krishna went from waste picking to collecting waste from 24 different locations in the city. Now, he manages a team that provides a monthly waste collection service for 3-star hotels. Krishna has high ambitions for the future of other waste pickers in Bengaluru.

The Body Shop Ginger Products

HOW WE’LL USE RECYCLED PLASTIC

We’ve started using Community Fair Trade recycled plastic in our 250ml shampoo and conditioner bottles, and are introducing it across all of our packaging.

After our plastic is collected and sorted in waste segregation centres, it is cleaned, compressed into bales and transported to Europe where it is converted, rigorously cleaned and sterilised. The resultant resin is tested to food grade standards and is then converted into granules and recycled back into our bottles.

In the future, we want to buy even more Community Fair Trade recycled plastic from our partners so we can use it in more of our product packaging and strive to be even more sustainable. We know we’ve got a long way to go, but don’t worry. This is just the start of our Community Fair Trade partnership and our commitment to tackling the plastic crisis. Who knows what we can achieve together next?