Grupo Plastilene, Fundación Avina and Dow Colombia join together to help waste pickers in Colombia

These organizations collaborated to build a multifunctional warehouse in Suba that will serve more than 300 waste pickers as they carry out recycling efforts safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 2021 - As part of International Waste Picker Day, and with the aim of highlighting the important work done by waste pickers in Colombia, Dow, together with Grupo Plastilene and Fundación Avina, joined efforts to support “Dame tu Mano”, a network of environmental waste pickers dedicated to environmental, social and community service throughout 11 areas in Bogotá.

The main objective of the alliance was to build a multi-purpose warehouse of 200 m2, in which waste pickers will be able to properly isolate waste that may be contaminated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, providing greater safety in the work of recycling waste, thus taking care of their health and well-being.

The facility is located in Suba and went into operation February 2021. It will benefit more than 326 waste pickers doing selective collection in areas of Bogotá. The warehouse will be able to store an average of 100 tons of usable waste such as plastic, cardboard, foil and aluminum, on a rotational basis, to quarantine the materials to be recycled.

“ The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it new challenges and the possibility of finding new opportunities to continue to positively impact our environment. With this donation we confirm our commitment to the circular economy and the entire value chain, highlighting the role of waste pickers as actors that play a decisive role in our society and who need more tools to dignify their craft, thereby generating social inclusion and environmental and economic development. At Dow, since the beginning of the pandemic, we have strengthened our commitment to the industry, our people, customers, suppliers, demonstrating that despite the physical distance we are more together than ever.”, said Juan Pablo Contreras, Director-General of Dow Colombia.

The warehouse had an investment of USD$10 thousand dollars and will have an average service life of two years. Its impact will be measured by quantifying the metric tons of various materials put into insulation during their operation.

This project is aligned with the continuous investments and activities that industry makes to open the way to a circular economy of plastic waste where recycling is an essential part.