Henkel Opens Plastic Waste Collection Center in Haiti
Less Plastic Waste, More Chances for Women
The Schwarzkopf initiative Million Chances offers girls and women in Haiti the support they need to cope with their everyday lives. Women are given the chance to become more independent by removing plastic waste from their local environment and turning it into a means of exchange for money or other services.
The initiative is part of the partnership between Henkel and the social enterprise the Plastic Bank. Since 2013, the Plastic Bank has been pursuing its aim to stop ocean plastic and monetize waste while improving the lives of people in countries that lack waste management infrastructure. Together with Marie-Ève Schröder, Corporate Senior Vice President International Marketing for Henkel Beauty Care, David Katz, Founder and CEO of the Plastic Bank inaugurated a new plastic collection center in Croix de Bouquets.
Besides earning money in exchange for the collected plastic waste, people receive support for their most urgent needs: Mobile phones, which are often the only means of communication, can be charged, and people are provided with cooking fuel and stoves as well as other services for their daily needs such as free internet access. Furthermore, the money they earn provides them with a steady income, offering children the opportunity to go school, which in Haiti is fee-based.
With its collection centers, the Plastic Bank guarantees people an above-market price for the plastic that is collected. In particular, the collection centers offer women a chance to improve their lives. Plastic waste is sorted, processed and supplied to companies as recycled Social Plastic. “Our chain of collection centers in Haiti engages the poor to be able to provide a way for plastic to be used as money. The sale of Social Plastic provides an income for the world’s poor,” says David Katz.
In the first few days after the opening of the collection center, 12 women have already used the opportunity and exchanged collected plastic for money and cooking fuel. Marie-Ève Schröder is convinced that the lives of women can be improved by the project: “Environmental issues, poverty, not enough educational opportunities and jobs – these are only a few of the challenges that women face on a daily basis. I am sure that we can help girls and women here in Haiti and offer them a way to be more self-confident, as well as providing better chances and future prospects with Schwarzkopf’s Million Chances initiative.” The opening of the new collection center is the beginning of Henkel’s commitment in Haiti – the opening of more centers is planned for this year.
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