One morning in Bangalore, I decided to skip breakfast and see how long it would take as a wastepicker before I could afford to eat. It was shocking to notice the immediate way people's behaviour changed once they saw me as a wastepicker. Security at the park that I visited just days earlier would no longer let me in now that I was wastepicking. The experience gave me a new found respect for the informal recyclers who help keep our cities clean.
After 3 hours and being harassed by more security guards, I only had a few KGs of plastic. In Bangalore, the price wastepickers receive for P.E.T. has fallen 60% in the last year. Which means all the plastic I collected would not be enough to put food on the table for a family.
I'm now even more motivated to help companies which from using virgin plastic to recycled plastic. In addition to the environmental benefits, increasing the demand for recycled plastic also helps increase the income received by wastepickers.