Launching The World’s First Fair Trade Plastic With Brand Partner The Body Shop

  • On May 9th Plastics For Change and The Body Shop announced a global partnership to launch the first fairly traded recycled plastic.

  • Plastics For Change is certified under the World Fair Trade Organization, the certification announcement coincides in with World Fair Trade Day.

  • To mark the launch The Body Shop and Plastics For Change unveiled a giant artwork of a female Indian waste picker in London’s Borough Market. The plastic was collected by waste-pickers in the Plastics For Change supply chain.

  • Plastics For Change is expanding to a new coastal community and is running a global crowdfunding campaign to scale the model where it is needed most.

  • Plastics For Change is supported by World Vision’s Social Origin Capital Venture

    Fund; an impact fund run by World Vision Canada.

The issue of plastic waste is seen and felt all over the world. It must be addressed and we believe the time for action is now. On May 9th The Body Shop and Plastics For Change are launching the world’s first fairly traded plastic. The partnership shows what is possible for the industry to build responsible supply chains in impoverished communities, while simultaneously reducing pollution and poverty.

Plastics For Change has developed a marketplace platform that connects waste-pickers to global markets and ensures a consistent supply of high quality recycled plastic for brands. This initiative is about creating bettering the lives of the urban poor while transitioning the industry towards a circular economy.

The Body Shop and Plastics For Change take the human approach to tackle this problem. Over three billion people live without formal waste management – that’s almost half the planet’s population. This has given rise to an informal waste picking economy. These waste-pickers are often outcast in society, lied to and cheated. However, they are critical workers in helping collect plastic before it enters the world’s oceans.

May 9th marks World Fair Trade Day. Both Plastics For Change and The Body Shop are certified under the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). This proves the working conditions and livelihood opportunities provided by Plastics For Change, follow all 10 fair trade principles outlined by WFTO. Both companies understand that plastic can be used to transform lives and help marginalized communities.

The Body Shop and Plastics for Change will work alongside local partners such as Hasiru Dala, a non-governmental organisation that fights for waste picker rights, and Hasiru Dala Innovations, a social enterprise dedicated to creating essential employment opportunities for waste pickers.

Plastics For Change is urging people to support through a global crowdfunding campaign. This will allow the company to scale the platform to a new coastal community and double recycling efforts. View crowdfunding campaign here.


Plastic consumption in emerging economies like India has grown drastically and infrastructure development has not kept pace. The result is a dramatic increase in plastic waste.

India alone has 1.5 million waste pickers who collect and sort over 6,000 tonnes of plastic every day that could otherwise pollute our rivers and oceans. The majority of India’s waste pickers are Dalits, previously known as ‘untouchables’. This means that they have virtually no visibility in society and have limited rights. They are vulnerable to discrimination, poor living and working conditions and an unpredictable payment system for the plastic they collect.

With over three years of refining the platform, Plastics For Change has met the quality requirement needed for food and cosmetics packaging. This was achieved through a rigorous quality assurance process and uploading all data onto the mobile platform. Now, The Body Shop has begun using this Fairly Traded recycled plastic in its 250ml haircare bottles, including its bestselling Ginger Shampoo with one bottle sold every four seconds. The bottles will contain 100% recycled plastic (excluding the bottle caps). Of that, 15% will be Fairly Traded recycled plastic, the remainder will be recycled plastic from European sources. The Body Shop and Plastics For Change will increase the amount of Fairly Traded Recycled plastic over time. Working with a start-up company and small waste picker communities means starting small and scaling up in a responsible and sustainable manner.

In its first year, The Body Shop will purchase 250 tonnes of Fair Trade recycled plastic to use in nearly three million 250ml haircare bottles by the end of 2019. This marks the start of a wider ambition, which is to introduce Community Trade Recycled plastic across all PET plastic used by The Body Shop within three years. Over the course of three years, the programme will scale up to purchasing over 900 tonnes of Community Trade Recycled Plastic and help empower up to 2,500 waste pickers in Bengaluru.

They will receive a fair price for their work, a predictable income and better working conditions. They will also get help in accessing services such as education, financial loans and healthcare services, and the respect and recognition they deserve. The Body Shop and Plastics for Change will work alongside local partners such as Hasiru Dala, a non- governmental organisation that fights for waste picker rights, and Hasiru Dala Innovations, a social enterprise dedicated to creating essential employment opportunities for waste pickers.

“As a company, we’ve always had the conviction to stand up for our principles when it comes to helping empower people, especially women, while protecting our planet. Our new partnership with Plastics For Change and our other partners will not only support waste pickers but also champion plastic as a valuable renewable resource when used responsibly.” Lee Mann, Global Community Trade Manager for The Body Shop.

“Plastic recycling is a major source of income for the one percent of the world’s most marginalised urban population and we are incredibly excited to partner with The Body Shop and other partners to help these groups get the financial and social benefits they deserve. This is the world’s first ever programme of verified Fair Trade plastic collection for use in recycling.” Andrew Almack, CEO of Plastics for Change.


Founded in 1976 in Brighton, England, by Dame Anita Roddick, The Body Shop is a global beauty brand. The Body Shop seeks to make a positive difference in the world by offering high-quality, naturally-inspired products produced ethically and sustainably. The Body Shop pioneered the philosophy that business can be a force for good and this ethos is still the brand’s driving force. The Body Shop has 3,000 retail locations in 69 countries. Along with Aesop and Natura, The Body Shop is part of Natura &Co, a global, multi-channel and multi-brand cosmetics group committed to generating positive economic, social and environmental change.


Plastics For Change enables global brands and manufacturers to source high-quality recycled plastic from responsible supply chains. The company is verified by the World Fair Trade Organisation Organization. Its mobile platform and deal process provides waste pickers with access to fair and consistent income opportunities. It has developed an ethical sourcing platform to create sustainable livelihoods for the urban poor, while transitioning the industry towards a circular economy.

Similar to fair trade agriculture, the platform creates transparency and accountability from the base of the supply chain to the store shelf. This results in more efficient shared-value chains and higher quality recycled plastic. It provides expertise to help catalyse brands and manufacturers to replace the use of new plastic with ethically-sourced recycled plastic, thereby immediately improving the social and environmental impact of its products and complying with Extended Producer Responsibility legislation.