Kerala’s Green Worms Gets Funding from Nivea’s Beiersdorf

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The Kerala based waste management firm Green Worms in India is among the four from around the world, have been shortlisted for Beiersdorf’s four million Euro funding. The other shortlisted firms include Delterra in Argentina, Recycle Up! Ghana, and TakaTaka Solutions in Kenya. These organizations were selected based on their social impact in regions heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beiersdorf is a world leader in skincare products. Nivea is its most popular and top-selling brand. The initiative, a press note states, is to strengthen the recycling infrastructure in emerging economies and provide substantial support to plastic waste management organizations with a strong social business approach. A key focus of the program is to empower women, who constitute a majority of waste collectors, through training and development opportunities.

It is the company’s CARE BEYOND SKIN Sustainability Agenda and aims to address the dual challenges of plastic pollution and poverty.

One of the major projects under this initiative includes the establishment of a Material Recovery Facility and a Plastic-waste Recycling Plant in rural Kerala, India, by Green Worms. This ambitious project aims to create over 500 jobs for women in waste management across 20 villages, recover 6,000 metric tons of plastic, and recycle 2,760 metric tons annually.

The initiative goes beyond environmental concerns, aiming to improve the social status of women in these regions. It includes workshops, scholarships, menstrual hygiene education, regular health check-ups, health insurance, and vaccination drives to ensure a safe work environment. Additionally, a Waste Workers Welfare Fund has been established to enhance economic security for the local community.

Jabir Gharat, CEO Green Worms

Jabir Gharat, CEO of Green Worms, underscored the resilience of women waste workers, many of whom were the sole earners in their families and faced significant economic challenges during the pandemic. He stresses the importance of providing women with stable and safe work opportunities. The “Women in Circularity” initiative, launched in four countries, represents a redefined approach to tackling environmental challenges and promoting women’s empowerment in the waste management sector. It underscores the role of businesses as catalysts for positive change, contributing to a sustainable future with a focus on inclusivity and circular resources.

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