Creating sustainable jobs with the best possible working conditions for the communities along the waste management value chain is our goal.
We are excited that our partner Green Worms hires women from self-help groups in the community of Kerala, India.
Women self-help groups are community-based associations with members from similar social and economic backgrounds. The goal of these communities is to make a living by accepting different kinds of jobs and become financially stable. In times of emergency or financial scarcity, the association can grant its members loans from their collective savings.
Beyond their function as a savings and credit group, self-help groups offer women a platform for building solidarity. They provide them the space to come together and act on issues related to health, nutrition, empowerment, as well as social and gender justice.
The role of self-help groups within waste solution activities
Green Worms is a social enterprise from Kerala, India, founded on three core principles: Minimize waste generation, divert the waste from landfills & oceans, and dignify people working with waste.
The company intercepts the waste as close to the source as possible by running door-to-door collection services for household waste.
Green Worms hires women from self-help groups and gives them the responsibility for the household collection and the waste sorting process. As these are activities with low job market entry barriers, it is a great way to employ women with underprivileged backgrounds.
All groups are trained by Green Worms beforehand and equipped with the right gear to ensure that the women can perform their jobs safely and dignified.
Impact but with the proper Code of Conduct
We along with our partners take the Sustainable Development Goal of decent work conditions seriously. The waste industry can be some of the most potentially dirty, dangerous, and degrading work environments at its informal grassroots level. We believe it doesn’t have to be that way and that preventing plastic from entering the oceans can be decent work.
To ensure this, we commissioned an experienced local expert to visit our partner’s sites, where he conducted considerable interviewing of the female workers. As a positive impact, we’ve supported our partner to improve wages and social insurance, which can make such a difference in these women’s lives. The women also asked for better PPE, safety, and a place to rest and eat lunch in dignity.
Supporting the Social Cause - How do contributions from brands help?
Our plastic credits not only deliver environmental but social impact too, where it’s needed most. The majority of household waste that is collected has a net negative value. Either because it technically can’t be recycled or there is no demand for the kind of material. That means no one will purchase it, and the entire operations of collection, sorting, transportation would end up in a huge financial gap. This could mean job loss and the lack of financial background for the female workers. The contributions from brands help to close that gap. They give worthless or low-value waste enough worth to be collected and safely recovered.
By supporting our work with plastic credits, brands don’t only support less waste in the environment; they also support social change.