We are thrilled to share the news that we have recently joined forces with a fantastic plastic fighting initiative - Indian-based organisation and foundation Plastics For Change.
Plastics For Change is on a mission to end plastic waste in India. Naturally, we are so excited to work alongside this organisation! We want to tell you all about what they do and how we support their mission.
WHAT IS PLASTICS FOR CHANGE?
Plastics For Change is an ethical foundation that is committed to reducing plastic waste in India and ending poverty. Headquartered in Bangalore, Canadian traveller Andrew Almack founded the scheme in 2013.
Primarily, Plastics For Change is an ethical sourcing platform that establish collection of plastic debris from the Indian landscape, process it via certified product lines and sell the recycled resin to brands around the world. Their overarching mission is to bring recycling infrastructure to developing regions. At the same time, they are creating fair employment for some of the most marginalised members of society.
The Plastics For Change Foundation provides financial and social services to Indian waste pickers which enables them to become entrepreneurs and support their families.
WHY FIGHTING PLASTIC WASTE IN INDIA MATTERS
The plastic and people livelihood problem in India is directly connected. India produces 9.46 million tons of plastic waste every year and 21% of India’s 1.3 billion residents survive on a wage of $2 USD per day.
It is due to both poor education and waste management around India that leads to a lot of plastic first being discarded in rivers before it travels into the ocean and it is waste-pickers and informal recycling system in India does over 90% of recycling in the country. Formalising the informal recycling economy in urban areas is therefore key to diverting ocean plastic.
Plastics For Change not only helps communities generate an action plan for managing waste, but they help bring jobs and dignity to people in need that are often illiterate and to date subjected to casteism related problems.
HOW IS PLASTIC RECYCLING CHANGING LIVES?
The work of Plastic for Change is having a sweeping impact on both planet and people. The platform provides sustainable jobs and reliable incomes to those who would otherwise live in poverty. Ultimately, their mission is to:
- Fight Climate Change & Reduce Plastic Pollution: Their solution makes it viable for companies to swap virgin for recycled plastic. Every one ton of virgin plastic offset by recycled plastic saves approximately two-three tons of C02.
- Create Livelihoods: 1% of the urban population in developing countries like India relies on recycling as their primary income. But, Plastics For Change make the business more ethical for those at the root of the chain.
- Support Economic Growth: The inclusive nature of Plastics For Change and their fair trade practices ensure dignity to some of the poorest communities.
Additionally, they educate communities about the importance of recycling. But it doesn’t stop there! Plastics For Change is changing lives through plastic recycling by providing social care to improve the lives of remote communities. Their Foundation also provides:
- Education and nutrition for the children of waste-pickers
- Healthcare services
- Vocational training for women and young adults
- Female empowerment
- Covid-19 support relief
HOW IS NATURE UNITE WORKING WITH PLASTICS FOR CHANGE?
We are proud to support the work of Plastics For Change with every Nature Unite bottle we sell.
Firstly, for each bottle sold directly via our website or to our business partners, we collect 1kg of plastic waste, equaling approx. 100 single use water bottles through Plastics For Change, ensuring that lessplastic enters our oceans and supporting the livelihoods of these environmental frontline workers.
Secondly, we contribute 2% of our annual sales to support the Plastics For Change adult educational waste management programme. This is managed in tandem with various stakeholders who educate, train and raise visibility on environmental issues.
Written by the Nature Unite team