Resource Use

WasteAid announces £800k partnership with Huhtamaki

International waste management charity Wasteaid has announced a two-year partnership worth €900,000 (£800,000) with sustainable food packaging company Huhtamaki to drive community-level circular economy innovation in Vietnam, India and South Africa.

The project funding will allow WasteAid to deliver education and training on circular systems in Johannesburg (South Africa), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Guwahati (India), working with local stakeholders to boost local waste management solutions, creating value and reducing waste in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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With two billion people around the world lacking access to waste collections and the waste of some three billion people being disposed of through unregulated dumping and burning, the new programme will accelerate knowledge transfer to develop alternatives to dumping and burning to address local health problems and build stronger local economies.

The project will focus on educating diverse local communities via a cloud-based learning platform, networking events and training programmes, while also running local innovation competitions to inspire local sustainable solutions.

Interim Executive Support at Wasteaid Ray Georgeson, who took temporary charge of the charity prior to the appointment of Ceris Turner-Bailes as CEO following the departure of Mike Webster, will manage the partnership until a dedicated project director can be found.

WasteAid currently operates in countries such as Cameroon, Kenya and The Gambia, and has even launched a virtual safari around the Kenyan wilderness to raise funds during the Covis-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the project, WasteAid CEO Ceris Turner-Bailes said: “The shift towards a circular economy offers vast potential for global development and WasteAid is proud to be at the forefront of that change. This major partnership between WasteAid and Huhtamaki offers the opportunity for greater impact and is a huge milestone in the development of WasteAid as an organisation. We’re delighted to be working with the Huhtamaki team and look forward to delivering this groundbreaking initiative over the coming two years.”

Huhtamaki’s funding is part of €3 million (£2.7 million) it is donating to sustainability initiatives around the world to spur innovation and build circular economy initiatives.

President and CEO of Huhtamaki Charles Héaulmé added: “We want to make a difference, where it matters most. We want to support local communities concretely, by providing education and training on waste management and circular systems. Delivering on our ambitious sustainability agenda requires collaboration across the value chain. We chose to partner with WasteAid as it is already making a positive impact on plastic pollution. An illustration of this is their project in West Africa, where trainees are turning plastic waste into useful products like paving tiles.

“Very quickly the local team prevented a million plastic bags from being burned, or reaching the ocean. A year after, 55 families continue to collect, sort and process plastic waste, reducing pollution and carbon emissions and protecting the health of their community in Gunjur, Gambia. We will be learning from our partnership with WasteAid and will share our insights with global stakeholders as part of our sustainability journey to deliver on our 2030 strategy.”

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