Huhtamaki and WasteAid announce global partnership to drive community-level circular economy innovation in key locations

Global sustainable food packaging leader Huhtamaki and international charity WasteAid have announced a €900,000 (£800,000) partnership to drive community-level circular economy innovation in Vietnam, India and South Africa for a two-year period.  To mark its 100-year anniversary, Huhtamaki is donating €3 million to global sustainability initiatives with a local impact – acting today, educating for tomorrow and funding innovation for the future, making a difference where it matters most to help address global sustainability challenges and build circular economy initiatives.

The Huhtamaki funded project will provide financial support to WasteAid to deliver education and training on waste management and circular systems. It will enable WasteAid to work with key stakeholders in Johannesburg (South Africa), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Guwahati (Assam, India) to fast-track and amplify local solutions that create value and reduce waste and pollution, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Ceris Turner-Bailes, WasteAid Chief Executive said: “The shift towards a circular economy offers vast potential for global development and WasteAid is proud to be at the forefront of that change.

“This major partnership between WasteAid and Huhtamaki offers the opportunity for greater impact and is a huge milestone in the development of WasteAid as an organisation. We’re delighted to be working with the Huhtamaki team and look forward to delivering this groundbreaking initiative over the coming two years.”

Ceris Turner-Bailes_CEO WasteAid

President and CEO of Huhtamaki Charles Héaulmé said: “We want to make a difference, where it matters most. We want to support local communities concretely, by providing education and training on waste management and circular systems. Delivering on our ambitious sustainability agenda requires collaboration across the value chain.

“We chose to partner with WasteAid as it is already making a positive impact on plastic pollution. An illustration of this is their project in West Africa, where trainees are turning plastic waste into useful products like paving tiles. Very quickly the local team prevented a million plastic bags from being burned, or reaching the ocean. A year after, 55 families continue to collect, sort and process plastic waste, reducing pollution and carbon emissions and protecting the health of their community in Gunjur, Gambia. We will be learning from our partnership with WasteAid and will share our insights with global stakeholders as part of our sustainability journey to deliver on our 2030 strategy.”

WasteAid in The Gambia_Tiles from plastic

The project – WasteAid will bring its expertise in sustainable waste management to share skills, develop business ideas and create end-markets for recyclable materials, driving innovation and developing a new generation of green entrepreneurs locally. The two-year programme will be focused on educating diverse local communities via a cloud-based learning platform, networking events, training programmes and will seek to inspire innovative sustainable solutions through local innovation competitions.

The programme will accelerate knowledge transfer and cultivate great ideas within communities most affected by poor waste management. Developing alternatives to dumping and burning of waste makes homes more liveable, reduces health problems and builds stronger local economies.

Ray Georgeson, Interim Executive Support at WasteAid will continue to manage the partnership until a dedicated project director is appointed.

For further information, please contact:

Zoë Lenkiewicz, Head of Programmes and Engagement, WasteAid, zoe.lenkiewicz@wasteaid.org +44 7720 706 155

Katariina Hietaranta, Head of External Communications, Huhtamaki Oyj, tel. +358 10 686 7863

WasteAid is a UK registered charity set up by waste management professionals to tackle the global waste crisis. 2 billion people do not have their waste collected and 3 billion do not have a decent disposal site, and as a consequence waste ends up in rivers and ultimately the oceans.

WasteAid works with communities in low-income countries to address the root causes of climate change and marine plastic pollution.

WasteAid shares waste management knowledge and skills with communities in low-income countries; trains people to become self-employed recycling entrepreneurs; and influences decision-makers and the donor community to increase investment in waste management.

Huhtamaki is a key global player in sustainable food on-the-go and food on-the-shelf packaging solutions. Our innovative products help billions of consumers around the world make responsible lifestyle choices every day. Today, packaging plays a significant role in food safety and convenience. We are committed to making packaging more circular and we embed sustainability in everything we do. We are focused on achieving carbon neutral production and having all our products designed to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030.

With 100 years of history and a strong Nordic heritage we operate in 35 countries and 81 sites around the world. Our 19,000 employees are working to deliver smart next generation packaging. Our 2019 net sales totaled EUR 3.4 billion. Huhtamaki Group has its head office in Espoo, Finland and the parent company Huhtamäki Oyj is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. Find out more about our Sustainability Action Plan and our ambition at www.huhtamaki.com.

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