Initiative supports waste collectors in Đà Nẵng

Friday, May 10, 2024 08:03

Waste collectors receiving a health check. Many waste collectors in Đà Nẵng City have benefited from The Collector Network, a non-profit initiative powered by the social enterprise ReForm Plastic. — Photo courtesy ofCoca-Cola Beverages Vietnam

Nearly 1,500 waste collectors in the central city of Đà Nẵng have benefited from The Collector Network, a non-profit initiative powered by the social enterprise ReForm Plastic.

Launched in the city six months ago, the initiative, which is dedicated to improving the lives of informal waste collectors in Đà Nẵng, has made significant progress with the crucial support of Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam.

This collaborative project tackles three key areas of expanding The Collector Network's reach, providing essential support and benefits to members, and raising awareness of the critical role informal waste collectors play in society.

Throughout the duration of the project, this collaborative effort has successfully increased the number of informal waste collectors in The Collector Network’s database by 19 per cent and now has a vast network of over 1,466 members total.

Furthermore, six Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) training sessions were held across the city. These educational sessions equipped members with essential knowledge to minimise the risks associated with waste collection, keeping them safe while they work.

Recognising the challenges informal waste collectors face in accessing healthcare, the Collector Network, in collaboration with the Centre for Adaptive Capacity Building Research and Đà Nẵng Red Cross Society, is taking a significant step forward. In April 2024, they provided health insurance to 50 deserving members as many informal waste collectors struggle to afford basic healthcare, leaving them vulnerable to illness and injury.

Bùi Khánh Nguyên, vice president of Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam said: “Despite their substantial contributions, the work of informal waste collectors receives little attention and understanding. It is essential to provide these collectors with opportunities for livelihood enhancement and assistance in transitioning into the formal waste management sector.”

The success of The Collector Network has ignited plans for national expansion across Việt Nam, bringing vital support to even more informal waste collectors. This innovative initiative is also inspiring action beyond borders. ReForm Plastic, with its extensive network of franchise partners across Asia and Africa, is already adapting these valuable lessons to empower over 10,000 informal collectors around the world. — VNS

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