Beiersdorf Launches “Women in Circularity” Initiative to Fight Plastic Pollution and Empower Women

Beiersdorf’s Holistic Sustainability Program Aims to Create Environmental Impact and Economic Opportunities

Beiersdorf has unveiled its “Women in Circularity” initiative, as part of its CARE BEYOND SKIN Sustainability Agenda. This holistic program aims to provide substantial funding to plastic waste recycling organizations with a strong social business focus. The initiative has two primary objectives: expanding recycling infrastructure in emerging economies and offering training and development opportunities to waste collectors, many of whom are women. This effort not only seeks to make a significant environmental impact but also promote a more inclusive society.

The initiative identified and selected organizations with a social impact focus, especially in regions affected by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Four organizations were chosen after rigorous validation and on-site visits: Green Worms in India, Delterra in Argentina, Recycle Up! Ghana in Ghana, and TakaTaka Solutions in Kenya. Beiersdorf will donate 4 million Euros as part of its COVID-19 Aid Program, the largest global aid program in the company’s history, initiated in 2020. Collaborating with public authorities, local, and international organizations, Beiersdorf intends to mitigate the pandemic’s negative impacts and provide income and development opportunities for over 1,600 women in the waste management sector.

With just 3% of household plastic waste being collected and recycled in Kerala, according to a World Bank Report from 2021, the “Women in Circularity” initiative seeks to address both plastic pollution and poverty. Green Worms, a local waste management association in Kerala, plans to establish a Material Recovery Facility in Malappuram District by December 2023 and implement a Plastic-waste Recycling Plant in the Kannur District by February 2024. This ambitious project will create jobs in waste management for over 500 women from 20 villages, while also recovering 6,000 metric tons of plastic, with 2,760 metric tons being recycled annually. Additionally, the initiative aims to elevate the social status of women in the region by offering various support, including workshops, scholarships, health services, and more.

Beiersdorf’s Vice President Corporate Sustainability, Jean-François Pascal, emphasizes the need to address the global plastic problem and mitigate the environmental and societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Women in Circularity” initiative aims to expand these organizations’ plastic waste collection and recycling capacity by 15,000 tons per year, creating new jobs and improving the conditions of female waste collectors.

Jabir Gharat, CEO of Green Worms, highlights the resilience of women waste collectors, who often faced financial challenges during the pandemic. He emphasizes the importance of providing them with stable and safe work opportunities to tackle both plastic pollution and poverty.

This initiative, launched in four countries, represents a pioneering approach to environmental challenges and women’s empowerment in the waste management sector, promoting inclusivity and sustainability for a better future.

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