- Recycling company ‘Vishuddh Recycle’ set up as a social business in Bangalore
- 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year are processed and recycled in our Swirl® and handy bag® bin liner production facilities
- Profits are reinvested and support charitable organisations
- Contribution to an improved waste management infrastructure in Bangalore and to improved working conditions for waste pickers
Plastics pollution is a worldwide threat to the environment. With the Fair Recycled Plastic initiative, the Melitta Group wants to make a contribution to solving this problem. The Yunus Social Business Fund gGmbH and the Melitta Group subsidiary Cofresco, have set up the recycling company ‘Vishuddh Recycle Pvt. Ltd.’ in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. Employees at the plant produce around 2,000 tonnes of plastic granulate from LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) plastic waste every year, which is then used in the production of Swirl® and handy bag® brand bin liners.
The company sources plastic waste from selected social enterprises whose aim is to establish a better waste management infrastructure in Bangalore, integrating waste pickers with better working conditions into the value chain.
Fair Recycled Plastic is financially supported by DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH as part of the develoPPP programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
“It is part of the Melitta Group’s ethos to make positive contributions to sustainable development,” said Katharina Roehrig, Managing Director at the Melitta Group and Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability. “A significant segment of our product portfolio at the Melitta Group is made from plastic. That’s why we see it as our duty to do something to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans and on the land.” Fair Recycled Plastic not only contributes to solving specific ecological and social problems locally in Bangalore, it also aims to be an innovative example of sustainable plastic production and recycling, and to inspire other companies and stakeholders to explore new approaches. After all, plastic is a valuable material that facilitates the hygienic storage of food, protects products and helps to extend the shelf life of food. It is essential that this valuable raw material remains in the life cycle as long as possible through recycling and does not harm the environment as waste. “Fair Recycled Plastic is an important milestone on our way to achieving this goal,” added Katharina Roehrig.
The principle of the circular economy
Fair Recycled Plastic is based on the principle of the circular economy, in which plastics that would otherwise end up in nature, landfills or fires are collected, processed and recycled. This will reduce the amount of waste on the streets of Bangalore and will also create new jobs in the local production facilities. Initially, 20 employees will work in the plant. Fair Recycled Plastic is also creating the conditions for better working conditions for many waste pickers. The aim is to involve as many people as possible through the partner companies that take the collected LDPE (low-density polyethylene) from the waste pickers for pre-sorting and cleaning, and who have to meet the Melitta Group’s high social and quality standards.
Profits benefit charitable organisations
Cofresco, a subsidiary of the Melitta Group and, producer of Swirl® and Handybag® brand bin liners among other things, has founded the company ‘Vishuddh Recycle’ for the new production facility in Bangalore. The company has been started as a social business. This means that all profits generated are ploughed back into the business or are invested in benefiting the local community.
“We want to support the poorest section of the population in Bangalore in a holistic way and to achieve this we will be working with two organisations to provide better health care and additional educational opportunities for the waste pickers and their children,” explained Oliver Strelecki, Managing Director of Cofresco. One organisation is the ‘Smile Foundation’, which travels through the slums of Bangalore with mobile clinics to offer people free primary health care. The other is the ‘Hasiru Dala Trust’ which runs educational activities such as community libraries and workshops to promote the social, emotional and cognitive growth of children and works to help them achieve better educational qualifications.
“Fair Recycled Plastic alone will not solve the social ills and environmental problems in Bangalore. However, the Melitta Group is committed to taking this important step in the right direction” commented Katharina Roehrig.
Further information on the Melitta Group’s commitment to sustainability can be found in the sustainability report.
The Melitta Group
Melitta is an internationally operating group of companies and is one of the leading independent family businesses, both in Germany and abroad. Its main activities are the development, manufacture and sale of branded products for the enjoyment of coffee, for the storage and preparation of food, and for cleanliness in the home. As a company with a history spanning more than 100 years, the Melitta Group thinks long term and sees the pursuit of sustainable development as an integral part of all its business activities. More information can be found at www.melitta-group.com.
Cofresco Frischhalteprodukte GmbH & Co.KG
Cofresco Frischhalteprodukte GmbH & Co. KG, a company in the Melitta Group, is Europe’s leading manufacturer of branded products in the household foil and paper sector for the home and professional kitchen. With its Toppits®, Handy Bag®, BacoFoil® and Swirl® brands, products from this innovative business unit can be found on supermarket shelves in nearly all European countries. Cofresco is also a leader in the food service sector with its Caterwrap® and Wrapmaster® brands. As a plastics processing company, Cofresco optimises its own use of raw materials and follows the principle of the circular economy. The entire product portfolio will be fully part of a circular economy by 2025. Find out more at www.cofresco.de.
Yunus Social Business Fund gGmbH
Yunus Social Business (YSB) is based on the ideas of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus to solve global problems through the power of business. The Yunus Fund team transforms donations into investments that support sustainable social enterprises active in the areas agriculture & livelihood security, education and training, energy and the environment, and health and sanitation. With a portfolio spanning Brazil, Colombia, India, Kenya and Uganda, YSB Funds has positively impacted over 3.6 million lives worldwide. The Corporate Innovation team works with global corporations to empower them to become a force for good. By developing social business models, building social ventures and engaging in social intrapreneurship, the Corporate Innovation Team paves strategic paths for companies to align business goals and impact. YSB has its headquarters in Berlin, Germany, and has more than 10 years of experience in the field of mission-driven business.