WEF 2023
Making plastic waste collection profitable and rewarding for the waste-pickers

Flanders, Gemini Corp. and Circular Valley® to cooperate on hot topic

Plastic pollution and ways to combat it was a hot topic at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos. While being a highly versatile material, consumer packaging plastics pose a huge challenge when ending up in the environment; especially in the developing nations. Over 50 million tons are landfilled, reach the aquatic systems or are openly dumped every year. All over the world millions of waste pickers in the informal sector try to make a living from the collection and sorting of household plastic. This is done under precarious working conditions with barely an opportunity to move out of poverty.

During the World Economic Forum in Davos Jan Jambon, Prime Minister of Flanders, Ved Prakash, Director of Gemini Corporation, and Carsten Gerhardt, Chairman of Germany's Circular Valley® Foundation, agreed to cooperate on the pressing topic of plastic waste collection in the developing world.

Through its subsidiary Gemcorp, Gemini in India seeks to strengthen the plastic recycling ecosystem in a fair and equitable way with a strong focus on efficient logistics, provision of finance for working capital, upliftment, education, and on-ground action. They aim to facilitate the recycling of more than 50,000 tonnes of plastic by the year 2025 and at the same time earn thousands of waste pickers – the "reclaimers" – a living wage.
Further scaling this approach through a collaboration of Gemini, development agencies and Circular Valley® partners will be the first tangible cooperation between the partners.

The governments of Flanders and North-Rhine-Westphalia/Germany are currently working on a general extension of their cooperation in the field of Circular Economy. Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon proposed the extension of Circular Valley® to Flanders to make the combined region into the global hotspot of the Circular Economy. It is Europe's largest cosmopolitan cross-border metropolitan region with over 30 million inhabitants, a strong and broad industrial base, market leaders in Circular Economy, world leading scientific institutions in material research and a strong industrial heritage.

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Source: Circular Valley