The initiative will support frontline waste enterprises in India and Ghana and promises to eliminate more than 1.5 million pounds of plastic waste otherwise bound for the ocean by the end of 2024.
In Kerala, India, it will enable recycling facility upgrades and sustained door-to-door waste collection services for around 2,000 households. In Accra, Ghana, the project will partner with buyback centers in the region and expand local collection networks.
Together, the initiatives will improve health and safety, working conditions and wellbeing standards for 350 local waste workers, the majority of whom are female, as well as create additional income streams from low-value waste materials.
Burt's Bees will also invest in critical plastic recycling infrastructure in the United States and around the world in cooperation with The Recycling Partnership and rePurpose Global to recover and recycle at least as much plastic as their own plastic footprint.
Matt Kopac, associate director of sustainability at Burt's Bees, said, "Plastic waste is a huge challenge for our industry and the planet, and it demands true collaboration to tackle it. Not only does this partnership stop plastic from leaking into the ocean, but it also creates crucial opportunities to economically empower waste workers and their communities. We are very proud to join forces with rePurpose Global and support their thoughtful approach to tackling plastic pollution."
Svanika Balasubramanian, CEO and co-founder of rePurpose Global, said, "Taking action on the plastic problem requires genuine intent, systems thinking, and meticulous execution. We are so glad that the leadership team at Burt's Bees shares our ethos, and we are thrilled about working with such a cohort of forward thinkers to tackle ocean-bound plastic on land before it becomes waste."