Green Worms is a social enterprise from Kerala, India that was founded on three core principles: minimize waste generation, divert waste from landfills and oceans and treat people working with waste with respect and dignity.
It all started in 2014. Jabir Karat, founder and CEO of Green Worms, was working in the slums of Mumbai as part of the Gandhi Fellowship, when he was struck by the gravity of the waste-management problem in cities.
With humble beginnings in the city of Kozhikode, Green Worms has today become one of the fastest growing companies in the waste management space in Kerala, the state known for its famous backwaters. The company is trusted by the state government, panchayats (districts) and municipalities, as well as the private sector and NGOs. Green Worms is now expanding its footprint across other states in South India.
What exactly are Green Worms doing?
Green Worms are intercepting the waste as close to the source as possible. With door-to-door collection services to gather household waste from where it is produced. That way Green Worms makes sure that waste and especially plastic does not end up in the environment in the first place. The entire collection is run by women self-help groups. That way they fight plastic pollution and poverty within one unique concept.
After the waste is collected, it is transported to a sorting center that is run by Green Worms. There, the household waste is segregated into different material types.
From here the recyclable goods are sold to recycling companies and the non-recyclable goods, like multi-layer packaging, are sent to safe disposal endpoints (co-processing) to make sure that the material does not end up in the environment or illegal dump yards again.
How do contributions from brands help?
The majority of household waste that is collected has a net-negative value. Either because it technically cannot be recycled or there is no demand for this kind of material. That means it cannot be sold and the whole operation of collection, sorting and transportation cannot be paid for. The contributions from brands help to close that gap. They give negative or low value waste enough value to be collected and safely recovered.
How does Green Worms work together with Cleanhub?
Green Worms uses the Cleanhub app to track and document the whole collection process. The most crucial points in the recovery chain like weighment slips, images of the sorted material and other proofs of work are uploaded on the Cleanhub platform to verify the volumes that are collected and recovered. Based on these data points we generate plastic credits that are sold to brands that want to act against plastic pollution.