22 May 2020 by Robyn White

WasteAid and Huhtamaki in £800,000 partnership

Waste management charity WasteAid has teamed up with food packaging company Huhtamaki for a partnership to “drive community-level circular economy innovation in Vietnam, India and South Africa”. 

The £800,000 project will be funded by the Finnish firm Huhtamaki .

The two year program “will accelerate knowledge transfer and cultivate great ideas within communities most affected by poor waste management”. It’s hoped this will help communities develop alternatives to dumping and burning of waste, reduce health problems and build stronger local economies.

A WasteAid project in West Africa taught trainees how to turn plastic waste into useful products like paving tiles

Huhtamaki describes itself as a key global player in sustainable shelf packaging solutions, and its products includes takeaway cups, egg cartons and moulded fibre plates.

WasteAid

The £800,000 donation marks one of WasteAid’s largest single grants, and will aim to “educate communities on waste management”, by fast tracking solutions to reduce waste and pollution and create end-markets for recyclable materials.

The project will be operated though a cloud-based learning platform, networking events, training programs and local innovation competitions.

Chief executive for WasteAid, Ceris Turner-Bailes, said: “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.”

Ms Turner-Bailes was appointed chief executive for WasteAid earlier this month (05 May), joining to “lead the team through next phase of growth”.

Huhtamaki

The WasteAid funding forms part of a €3 million donation by Huhtamaki to “global sustainability initiatives”.

Huhtamaki CEO, Charles Héaulmé said: “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 system. Delivering on our ambitious sustainability agenda requires collaboration across the value cain.”

“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.

“We will be learning from our partnership with WasteAid and will share out insights with global stakeholders as part of our sustainability journey to deliver on our 2030 strategy.”

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