Nestlé partners with local tech startup to empower informal waste reclaimers 

Nestlé East and Southern Africa region, a giant food manufacturing company partnered with local waste tech startup Kudoti to launch the ‘RE: Imagine Tomorrow” pilot project in Tembisa. The initiative aims to support and empower informal waste reclaimers while supporting National Recycling Week and Let’s Do It World Clean-up day in 2021. 

Nestlé partners with Kudoti

The project officially launched on 18 September 2021 and aims to drive and demonstrate how the circular economy is a tangible solution to managing and tackling the existing waste problem. 

How does the project work?

Nestlé has partnered with both Kudoti and Destination Green, a buy-back centre. A hundred waste reclaimers will be selected to use the technology provided to tack the amount of waste collected and allocate buyers through Kudoti’s innovative technology platform and network. 

According to reports, the waste collectors will be provided training on how to secure an income and receive a monthly stipend through a subsidy provided by Nestlé. The training will include business and finance education to further upskill the waste reclaimers in boosting their forms of income and the programme will provide them with a range of physical resources including protective gear. 

The initiative aims to also educate residents of Mqantsa on their relationship with waste and how to reduce their own waste footprint. In a full 360 approach, the project also aims to provide innovative solutions to a mass of waste as it provides tangible solutions to re-using waste to create usable products such as furniture items. 

Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) comments on the importance of informal waste reclaimers.

“Informal waste reclaimers play an important role in the management of waste. It is important that we appreciate their role as heroes and find ways in which we can empower them further as we strive for a waste-free future. This pilot project is part of our broader RE sustainability initiative which focuses on the pillars of rethink reduce and repurpose. Through working with a tech start-up, waste collectors, recyclers and the community, we believe we are engaging key stakeholders in the waste management cycle to be able to RE-imagine tomorrow. We hope that through this pilot project our partners and the community of Tembisa will see that there are opportunities that can be found in what we see as waste.”

Read more: New Incubation and Innovation Campus launches in Joburg

Featured image: Supplied 



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