The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) and Danone Argentina are joining forces to strengthen recycling systems and economic activity in 35 cities in Argentina in alliance with the Danone Ecosystem Fund, an endowment fund promoting inclusive and sustainable economic models, and Fundación Avina, a Latin American foundation with a successful track record of supporting local recycling organizations.
Vulnerable populations with few economic opportunities often turn to recycling to earn a living while also providing an important and environmentally-friendly municipal service. The cartoneros, who collect and sell recyclable products, have few workplace protections as part of the informal sector and can face discrimination for their work.
Danone Argentina has worked with philanthropic organization Fundación Avina and the Danone Ecosystem Fund for a decade to help Argentina’s cartoneros secure a fair wage and gain public recognition for their profession by supporting existing recycling infrastructure, developing inclusive waste collection chains, and promoting producer and consumer responsibility for waste management. This has significantly reduced the volume of waste in the environment in Argentina.
This new phase will support 4,500 cartoneros and 40 recycling organizations in establishing effective and inclusive recycling systems, improving their incomes and working conditions, and advocating for stronger public policies relevant to their work.
“The IAF has supported community-based recycling initiatives as a means of creating sustainable livelihoods in Latin American since 1993,” states IAF President and CEO Paloma Adams-Allen. “Our cooperation with Danone Argentina and the Danone Ecosystem Fund brings together our proven track record of fostering lasting change from the grassroots with their expertise in sustainable value chains.”
“The IAF team’s support will be decisive for improving recyclers’ living standards and working conditions and we are proud to work with them,” says Danone Ecosystem Fund CEO Eric Soubeiran. “This new step has particular relevance at a time when COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations like recyclers.”
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