The Pick-it! project in Ghana aims to improve recycling rates and the working and living conditions of waste pickers, by bringing structure to the recycling industry and federating plastic users and producers around inclusive recycling.
In Greater Accra, 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 significantly reduce the risks of plastic pollution, the Ghanaian government has considered a ban on flexible plastic.
FanMilk mainly uses this flexible plastic to manufacture and sell affordable products for its consumers. With support from Danone Ecosystem, 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 simultaneously professionally empowering waste pickers.
The project created a sorting center to divert waste from landfills, improve waste pickers’ working conditions and increase the recycling rate for plastics. It fosters the organization of a waste picker movement to develop their capabilities, allow them to benefit from health insurance, and helps them engage with key public stakeholders. The project has also helped federate plastic users and producers into a coalition called GRIPE, to effect greater social and environmental impact and promote inclusive recycling as a sustainable alternative to plastic ban.
Under the picture, some generated results.
People empowered (mainly pickers)
T of recyclables collected each year