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Feb 21, 2018 Düsseldorf / Germany
Less plastic waste, more chances for women
Strengthen confidence and provide perspective: the Schwarzkopf initiative Million Chances offers girls and women in Haiti the support they need to cope with their everyday lives. Women are given the chance to become more independent by removing plastic waste from their local environment and turning it into a means of exchange for money or other services.
The initiative is part of the partnership between Henkel and the social enterprise the Plastic Bank. Since 2013, the Plastic Bank has been pursuing its aim to stop ocean plastic and monetize waste while improving the lives of people in countries that lack waste management infrastructure. Together with Marie-Ève Schröder, Corporate Senior Vice President International Marketing for Henkel Beauty Care, David Katz, Founder and CEO of the Plastic Bank inaugurated a new plastic collection center in Croix de Bouquets.
Besides earning money in exchange for the collected plastic waste, people receive support for their most urgent needs: Mobile phones, which are often the only means of communication, can be charged, and people are provided with cooking fuel and stoves as well as other services for their daily needs such as free internet access. Furthermore, the money they earn provides them with a steady income, offering children the opportunity to go school, which in Haiti is fee-based. “In a country like Haiti that is shaped by poverty and the lack of prospects, you need a fair bit of patience and have to invest a lot of time and dedication to be successful with your cause,” says Marie-Ève Schröder. “That’s exactly what Schwarzkopf’s Million Chances initiative is doing here and over the course of the partnership with the Plastic Bank. In particular, we are focusing on the daily needs and problems of girls and women.”
With its collection centers, the Plastic Bank guarantees people an above-market price for the plastic that is collected. In particular, the collection centers offer women a chance to improve their lives. Plastic waste is sorted, processed and supplied to companies as recycled Social Plastic®. “Our chain of collection centers in Haiti engages the poor to be able to provide a way for plastic to be used as money. The sale of Social Plastic provides an income for the world’s poor,” says David Katz.
First positive results after the opening of the collection center
In the first few days after the opening of the collection center, 12 women have already used the opportunity and exchanged collected plastic for money and cooking fuel.
Marie-Ève Schröder is convinced that the lives of women can be improved by the project: “Environmental issues, poverty, not enough educational opportunities and jobs – these are only a few of the challenges that women face on a daily basis. What’s more is that often the women have to raise their children all by themselves. I am sure that we can help girls and women here in Haiti and offer them a way to be more self-confident, as well as providing better chances and future prospects with Schwarzkopf’s Million Chances initiative.”
The opening of the new collection center is the beginning of Henkel’s commitment in Haiti – the opening of more centers is planned for this year.
Global projects supported by Schwarzkopf’s Million Chances
Furthermore, Schwarzkopf Million Chances supports several more projects and initiatives for girls and women around the world. Together with the development and humanitarian organization Plan International Deutschland e.V., projects related to schooling and professional education are being facilitated in Egypt, Columbia and China. Further initiatives in Europe, Russia and Asia support disadvantaged girls and women in the field of health care and education, with the aim of helping them gain more self-confidence.