Subvemtionen for Big Plastic

Global problems do not disappear even during a pandemic. The question is whether projects should therefore be supported more. Yes, the US plastics industry finds and in mid-April asked the US Congress for $ 1 billion in support of Recycling efforts.

The extent of recycling in the USA had noticeably decreased during the crisis. However, consumers demanded products with a higher recycling content, justified by the merger of several companies and interest groups such as Dow, the “American Chemistry Council” and the “Plastics Industry Association”.

Even “Beyond Plastics” reacted uncomprehendingly

To" meet the demands of this crisis, we need investment now, “the Recover Coalition, as the group calls itself, suggested in a letter on April 16. It calls on members of Parliament to provide Corona Support Funds.

In November 2019, a bill called The Recover Act set aside $ 500 million over a five-year period to support the recycling industry. By means of the corona crisis would double this sum, argues the “Recover Coalition”.

The demand of several manufacturers and associations for tax money in the midst of a deadly pandemic caused resentment in places, even among representatives of non-governmental organizations such as “Beyond Plastics”, reports The “Intercept”.

Kenya: additional income from the garbage mountain

The global plastic flood, which the US Congress hopes to contain with the “Recover Act”, is not so bad for some people. For Rosemary Nyambura from Nairobi, for example. It is an example of what goes wrong in the global Recycling System. As in many emerging economies, there is no organised recycling system in Kenya. Informal structures nevertheless ensure waste recycling. Eleven-year-old Rosemary accompanies her aunt Miriam on the weekend to collect garbage to earn some extra money.

Subsidies for big plastic

In Dandora, a suburb of the Kenyan capital, which is best known for its huge landfill site, there is still a lot worth doing. Garbage collectors steal recyclable items from the garbage mountains and sell them to garbage dealers. Rosemary mainly collects plastic bottles, there is a little more money for tin cans, cardboard is worth less.

In the USA there are hundreds of billions, in Nairobi there are some Cents

Collecting garbage is tedious and dangerous. Some of the collectors dig into the rubbish heap in plastic sandals and without gloves, which are interspersed with shards, dirt and feces. Her aunt Miriam shows the photographer her cut hands.

Subsidies for big plastic

On weekdays Rosemary goes to school. If she makes it through primary and secondary education, she wants to go to College and then to the Medical School, if she can afford the tuition. She would like to become a doctor. The people of Dandora, she tells The “Intercept”, who wrote a report about Dandora, would then treat her for free. Many have diseases caused by waste.

For a Kilo of PET, the garbage dealers on the square pay less than five US cents. The work of the garbage collectors continues despite Corona and Lockdown. Most simply cannot afford to stop, reports The “Guardian”. Of the funds available to plastic producers for Recycling, hardly anything comes to them.

Plastic manufacturers in the USA, The Intercept notes, have hundreds of billions of dollars at their disposal to pay for the recycling of their products. Among the 223 companies that belong to the American Chemistry Council and the Recycling Partnership are 60 listed companies with total sales of $ 2.7 trillion and net income of $ 210 billion. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Danone, Unilever, and Nestlé, which are part of the Recycling Partnership, spent more than $ 24 billion on advertising in 2019.

In Kenya, a few hundred dollars would be a blessing

The garbage collectors in Nairobi work many hours, sometimes days, to collect a Kilo of plastic. The garbage dealers take the plastic bottles in large bags, called “diblas”. For children who are not lucky enough to be with an adult like Rosemary, they are too big and unwieldy. A local Organisation is therefore committed to you.

Founded by a local musician, “Dandora HipHop City” is a mixture of youth organization, musician collective, promotion and community project. In the “HipHop City” children can also hand in small amounts of plastic and get points for a single bottle, which they can exchange for food such as oil, flour and vegetables. The organization sells the plastic collected by the children to the dealers. This does not cover the costs, so it is dependent on donations.

The program director Charles Lukania has also asked Coca-Cola for sponsorship. After all, the children of Dandora contribute an amount to collect the plastic waste that the company causes. Coca-Cola is the leader in global plastic waste, the organization “Break Free from Plastic” has found in a global waste census in 51 countries.

The contribution of Coca-Cola: Brause verkaufen

In September 2018, a delegation from Coca-Cola visited the “HipHop City” on the edge of the garbage mountain. The company offered the “HipHop City” to set up a refrigerator with soft drinks that the children could buy. An absurd undertaking, the waste collectors usually can not afford soft drinks.

For its part, Coca-Cola, which has committed to making part of its bottles from recycled plastic, relies on a $ 100 million fund to finance this project. The industry is well positioned to get at least a partial grip on the painful plastic problem, the company informed The “Intercept” on request.

Coca-Cola does not know anything about “Dandora HipHop City” and a funding application. “The company and its bottling partners in Kenya are unaware of a specific application by the group for a grant and had no direct connection with” Dandora HipHop City”, Coca-Cola South Africa replied to an e-mail request. However, Camilla Osborne, Coca-Cola’s communications manager for South and East Africa, confirmed that Coca-Cola had participated in a Clean-up project in Dandora and provided drinks to the participants. “One organization alone cannot solve the plastic problem,” she said.