Co-created and implemented by Fan Milk and its partners, the Pick-it social entrepreneurship project aims to enable the development of sustainable practices along the entire plastic value chain (from generation to recycling). The launch of the Tema sorting center, located next to Accra, marks the start of this ambitious project.
• Creation of the first waste pickers’ cooperative supporting 300 workers in Ghana.
• At least 25 tons of plastics per month to be collected and recovered by 2019.
• Fan Milk to become “waste positive”, recycling more plastic than it uses by 2022.
• Ambition to replicate Pick-it’s model in other African countries.
Accra, July 25, 2018 – After officially launching its Pick-it project in November 2017, Fan Milk, the leading manufacturer and marketer of ice cream, frozen yoghurt and ambient yoghurt in West Africa, announces the opening of a brand-new waste and plastic sorting-center in Tema New Town, located next to Accra. The launch of this sorting center signals the operational start of Pick-It, an inclusive recycling project with two main objectives: increase plastics collection rates, thus lowering pollution, and improve waste pickers’ lives through innovative social and environmental solutions.
Plastic pollution is fast becoming a burning question in Africa. In Ghana alone, it is estimated that 12,710 tons of municipal solid waste, which consists of waste collected by or on behalf of municipal authorities, are generated per day. This amounts to more than 4.5 million tons annually. Throughout the continent, governments have decided to address the topic and encourage companies and individuals to use alternative materials and put in place a better waste recovery industry. Pick-it aims to be an active part of the solution.
Inspired by another Danone Ecosystem Fund project in Brazil, called Novo Ciclo, Pick-it is a social entrepreneurship venture that will enable the development of sustainable practices along the entire plastic value chain (from plastic generation to recycling). Waste pickers will be empowered through various skills that will increase both their waste recovery rates and their income. This will be enhanced by the creation of membership-based waste pickers’ organizations (cooperatives) where recyclables will be sorted and then sold to recycling plants. Downstream, recyclables will be collected door-to-door in households and also in markets, industries and lorry stations. It is expected that, by the end of 2019, the sorting center will be collecting and recovering at least 25 tons of plastics per month, which is equivalent to 30% of the total volume of packaging generated by Fan Milk in Ghana. By the end of year 2022, Fan Milk Limited will become “waste positive”, recycling more plastic than it uses for its own packaging needs by replicating the project with two other communities.
Pick-it has been co-created and implemented by Fan Milk Limited, in partnership with Environment3601, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)2 and the MIT D-lab3. The project is funded and benefits from the technical expertise of the Danone Ecosystem Fund4, Fan Milk Limited, and FMO (the Dutch Development Bank). The Hewlett Foundation is also supporting the project, through WIEGO.
“We are proud to be one of the first companies in Africa to re-think its business model and leverage the circular economy in order to have a positive impact on both the local communities and the environment. Pick-it is a project that allows both value creation and inclusive development in Ghana by turning waste into resources. On the longer term, our goal is to replicate Pick-it’s model in other African countries where we operate and to become plastic positive across our operations in West Africa”, says Stéphane Cousté, Managing Director of Fan Milk Ghana.
This project illustrates the strong commitment of Fan Milk’s parent company - Danone - to rethink and redesign the future of packaging.
About Fan Milk (www.fanmilk.com)
Fan Milk Limited was incorporated in 1960 and was previously known as the Ghanaian Milk Company. It enjoys outstanding brand recognition in Ghana with the highest market share for frozen dairy products. It took advantage of Danish investment in the early 1960s and initially specialized in pasteurized milk. However, in 1962, the company changed its name to Fan Milk Limited. In 2013, Danone acquired 49% of Fan Milk and became a majority shareholder in 2016. Fan Milk Limited was the first foreign invested company in Ghana to become a Public Limited Liability in 1967 and among the first companies to be listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange in 1990. The company produces and distributes milk-based and fruit-based products: frozen dairy products under the brands FANYOGO, FANCHOCO, FANICE and fruit based or fruit flavored products under the brands FANDANGO or FANPOP.
1 Environment360 is Ghana based NGO that creates community and corporate recycling programs to help fund educational programs for children in coastal and urban areas. The organization seeks to empower communities to adapt sustainable waste management habits by creating innovative educational programs and collection schemes intended for the African continent.
2 WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) is a global action-research-policy network focused on securing livelihoods for the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy.
3 MIT D-Lab works with people around the world to develop and advance collaborative approaches and practical solutions to global poverty challenges.
4 Danone Ecosystem Fund is an endowment fund with the mission to foster a more inclusive economy. Its more than 4 M beneficiaries with 71 projects in 30 countries around the world. The projects support the creation and consolidation of jobs for people living in dire conditions or those suffering from social exclusion while addressing environmental or public health issue.
About the Danone Ecosystem Fund (www.ecosysteme.danone.com).
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