Together with a German family company, we are currently developing a social business in plastics recycling. It supports waste pickers and their families in India. At the same time, it helps the corporate partner to increase the amount of recycled plastics in their supply chain.
In India, 80% of plastics are discarded as waste. Moreover, at least 40% of plastic waste is even uncollected. Plastic waste recycling capacities remain insufficient to cope with the sheer amount of waste in the country. At the lowest strata of the waste recycling hierarchy, rag pickers (Kachrawalas) make a living from collecting and reselling recyclable wastes found on the streets or in landfills or visit households, shops, or offices to buy their valuable wastes. They then resell the collected metal, plastics or paper to Kabaddishops.
Generally, informal waste pickers earn below $1.90 per day – which means that waste pickers earn significantly less than the internationally agreed-upon poverty line.