Plastics for Change campaign
We at The Body Shop are determined to deal with the plastic crisis in a different way. See how we fight for people and the planet by recycling plastic in Bangalore, India. Our activity will also help the people who feed by collecting secondary
raw materials. We are fighting for better working conditions for them, fair pay, and the respect and recognition they deserve.
ART FROM WASTE
At London's Borough Market you can find works of art from recycled materials sorted by "waste collectors". Michael Murphy marked the launch of the first such initiative from recycled plastics through the Community Trade campaign, which supports "waste collectors" in Bangalore, India.
Photo: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire
HOW BIG IS THE PLASTIC PROBLEM?
It is no secret that plastic pollution is a global problem and the planet is literally drowning in it. It affects living organisms in the seas and oceans but also affects humans.
In India, almost a third of the waste remains uncollected. This has led to the involvement of 1.5 million people, known as "waste collectors", to take care of them. In Bangalore, we work with an organization that is proudly called the Green Force. They partner with "garbage collectors" who work tirelessly to clean the streets of their city.
The "waste collectors" are mostly Dalits, also known as the "untouchables", the lowest social group in the Indian caste system. They are undoubtedly discriminated against and work in poor working conditions.
That is why we want to do more than fight pollution. We want social change and give them opportunities.
From left to right
Above: Shameem, Rihana & Husna
Down: Mallika Bhaniu & Nagma
HOW DOES PLASTIC WASTE AFFECT PEOPLE?
* Based on research by Plastics For Change, there is a 60% drop in plastic prices.
Dolly is a 20-year-old mother. Born into a family of "waste collectors", she left school when she was 9 years old to help her family. Her father rented a small plot of land on the outskirts of Bangalore and built tin housing for his family and workers.
Dolly's main role is to sort dry waste materials, especially plastic, which can be sold to shops and retailers. She tells stories from her early days as a "garbage collector." She says she has been harassed by the authorities, but this is normal for people with her "profession". Today he enjoys peace and feels safe in his new community.
Last year, Dolly stopped working because she gave birth to her daughter Marufa. Her dream is to become a tailor and secure a better future for her daughter.
HOW DO WE HELP THEM?
WE HELP PEOPLE THROUGH THE RECYCLING OF
At The Body Shop, we are determined to deal with the plastic crisis in a different way.
The only solution is not to not use plastic. If used responsibly, it can be sustainable, so we need to show love for the plastic we use.
There is already a huge resource for recycled plastic. Through the Community Trade program, we started using that from Bangalore, India.
This not only helps to solve the problem but also helps the 'waste collectors' we support in Bangalore to get better working conditions, fair pay, and the respect and recognition they deserve.
To the left: Veerama
WHERE DO WE BUY OUR PLASTIC?
OUR COMMUNITY TRADE PARTNERS,
PLASTICS FOR CHANGE
Plastics for Change is a non-profit association that has partnered with local NGOs Hasiru Dala and Hasiru Dala Innovation (HDI) to provide a stable income and better opportunities for Bengaluru's waste collectors.
These partnerships help to integrate waste collectors and use their experience in the management of secondary raw materials. The main focus of HDI is to improve their livelihoods so that they can increase their entrepreneurial skills. They are also provided with training in other useful skills, including urban gardening.
THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE OUR PARTNERSHIP POSSIBLE
Anama has been a "garbage collector" since she was a child. Today he is the manager of the Dry Waste Collection Center.
With the help of Plastics for Change and Hasiru Dala, she trained as a manager and today hires many people to work with, including her husband.
Her daughter is taking a plastic engineering course. Anama also wants to get involved in the recycling business.
Krishna is the manager of the Dry Waste Collection Center.
He also had a difficult childhood. After the loss of his father, his mother struggled with the hardships of their lives. But he understands that he can make money by collecting recyclables, and that allows him to build his future.
With the help of Plastics for Change and Hasiru Dala, he manages waste collection in 24 different locations in the city. Today, he leads a team that provides a monthly waste collection service to 3-star hotels.
Krishna has great ambitions for the future of other "garbage collectors" in Bangalore.
WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THE RECYCLED PLASTIC WE BUY?
Through our Community Trade program, we use recycled plastic for some 250 ml bottles of our shampoos and conditioners.
Once the plastic is collected and sorted in the waste segregation centers, it is cleaned, compressed in bales, and transported to Europe, where it is transformed, cleaned, and sterilized. The resulting resin is tested against food standards, then converted into granules, and recycled back into our bottles.
In the future, we want to buy even more recycled plastic so that we can use it in more of our packaging and strive to be even more sustainable.
We know we have a long way to go, but don't worry. This is just the beginning of the Community Trade program and it is our commitment to tackling the plastic crisis. Who knows what we can achieve together!
*** 100% recycled plastic with 15% recycled plastic under the Community Trade program, excluding bottle caps.