Social Procurement Sector Spotlight on Plastic Waste
The increase of plastic waste volumes, and the consequence this has on the planet and people’s health have become alarming issues. At the heart of this issue is not plastic itself, but instead inadequate linear waste systems which lead to plastics ending up in landfills and oceans. For example, it is estimated that only 9% of global plastic waste has been recycled since the 1950s. Alongside this, informal waste workers, who play an integral role in the waste value chain and are estimated to manage anywhere between 30% to 80% of waste in cities that are lacking proper waste infrastructures, face poor working conditions, unstable pay, and social stigma.
The good news is many social businesses around the world are coming up with innovative approaches to plastic recycling whilst at the same time supporting marginalised communities, including informal waste workers.
Social businesses, however, cannot face the global fight against plastic waste alone, they need cross-sector partnerships and shared value models that can help them to scale their solutions. For this reason, Yunus Social Business in collaboration with WASTE has put together the Social Procurement Sector Spotlight Report on Plastic Waste which condenses the insights gained from over 60 social businesses engaged in plastic waste around the world, including inspiring case studies. With this report, we aim to shine a light on the opportunity for corporations to partner with social businesses in tackling plastic waste through social procurement.
WASTE specifically addresses the plastic pollution challenge through its FINILOOP programme. A city-level plastic waste programme focused on improving solid waste management systems while at the same time improving the livelihoods of informal waste workers and fostering the growth and scale-up of social plastic waste enterprises.