To mitigate the ocean plastic crisis we must move towards proper waste management. Every lever should work effectively from reduction to reuse to innovation. When the core elements of waste management are met, a huge leap towards a clean ocean will be made and human life will be improved in the process.
Plastics For Change was crowned the regional winner of the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge 2018 for job creation in Asia. The MIT Challenges is about improving livelihoods through technology rather than replacing jobs.
The traditional informal recycling supply chain in developing countries tends to be a very exploitative system. The waste pickers at the base of the supply chain face numerous challenges when trying to access fair market prices for the discarded plastics they collect.
There is growing pressure for brands to embrace the (EPR). A great many of the global brands are committing to make all of their packaging recyclable. However, there is a massive difference between recycling a product in a laboratory setting versus utilizing the existing recycling infrastructure.
The informal recycling economy is a fundamental component of plastic waste management. This report outlines how the informal actors in developing countries have successfully built businesses on the collection, trade and recycling of plastic waste.
This October, Andrew Almack ( CEO of Plastics For Change ) had the opportunity to speak at the Textile exchange conference in Washington DC. This Q&A session was hosted between Andrew Almack (A) and Liesl Truscott (Q).
Here are the top six factors inhibiting the circular economy in developing regions. We’ve compiled these factors from listening to the members of the informal recycling economy. After all, in developing countries 80-90 percent of the recycling activities are informal.
In May 2016, Plastics for Change was hired by the Ocean Conservancy to conduct a landscape analysis of plastic pollution in Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines. Our specific role was to and research business inclusive models for reducing ocean plastic leakage.
This year, Plastics for Change was recognized as a finalist for the SEED Awards in Delhi, India. The SEED Awards were established by the UNEP and UNDP to promote progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through eco-inclusive entrepreneurship.
Through Plastics for Change, I've had the opportunity to meet with dozens of global brands. The companies who are leading in sustainability are the companies who have found a way to integrate their sustainability efforts into their culture.
In the last ten years humanity has created more plastic than in all the previous years of civilization combined. Our consumption of plastic continues to grow, especially in developing markets where waste management infrastructure cannot keep up with consumption.
India has 1.5 million waste pickers who make a living by picking up and recycling discarded plastics. In the last year they have suffered a 60% drop in the price they receive for the plastic they collect. The value of recycled plastic has plummeted.
After six consecutive airplane meals, I arrived at the Bangalore International Airport. I had big plans for this trip to India.165 contributors from 26 different countries had backed the Plastics For Change Indiegogo campaign to help implement an ethical sourcing platform for the plastics supply chain.
The organization has developed a fair trade transaction platform for the plastic recycling supply chain in developing countries which ensures waste picker recyclers receive a fair monetary value for the discarded plastic they collect.
Now I'm 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 waste pickers.
Increasing recycling rates in developing countries should be a priority of addressing climate change. According to recycling expert Dr Mike Biddle, for every ton of virgin plastic that is replaced with recycled plastic, it saves 2-3-tons of Co2. Most developing countries have dismal recycling rates of between 2-8%.
In a recent paper published in Science, Dr. Jenna Jambeck and her team determined that the vast majority of plastic entering the oceans is coming from South East Asian countries where there increasing population is outgrowing the current waste management infrastructure.
Millions of people in developing countries rely on collecting waste plastics as their primary source of income. Yet these recyclers only receive 5% of the industry profits. The low value of plastic leads to irresponsible disposal and environmental contamination.