The Pick-it! project aims to improve both recycling rates in Ghana and the conditions of waste pickers, bringing structure to the recycling industry and federating plastic users and producers around inclusive recycling.
In Greater Accra today, 50% of plastic ends up as litter and the other half is sent to landfill sites where around 5,000 waste pickers work in dire conditions to sort the waste and earn a living. As a way to reduce significantly the risks of plastic pollution and clogging, the Ghanaian government has considered a ban on flexible plastic. FanMilk, meanwhile, mainly uses this flexible plastic to manufacture and sell affordable product for its consumers. With the support of the Danone Ecosystem Fund, FanMilk and its local and international partners, Environment 360°, WIEGO and the MIT D- Lab, co-designed the “Pick-it!” project which aims to find a solution to plastic waste management, while professionally empowering waste pickers. The project will create a sorting center to divert waste from landfill and improve waste pickers’ working conditions. It will foster the organization of a waste picker movement to develop their capabilities and help them to engage with key public stakeholders. Lastly, the project has helped federate plastic users and producers into a coalition called GRIPE, to reach bigger social and environmental impacts and promote inclusive recycling as a sustainable alternative to plastic ban.
Pick-it! increases the recycling rate of plastics, lowers pollution and encourages the recognition of waste pickers’ role in society, as well as improving their working conditions and allowing them to benefit from health insurance. Proving that inclusive recycling is a sustainable and viable alternative to a plastic ban will allow FanMilk to keep providing affordable products to its clients.
People empowered (mainly pickers)
T of recyclables collected each year