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Nestlé’s RE-Imagine Tomorrow project empowers informal waste reclaimers

In celebration of National Recycling Week and Let’s Do It World Clean-up Day 2021, Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (Nestlé ESAR) partnered with Kudoti and Destination Green to launch the RE-Imagine Tomorrow pilot project in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg to demonstrate how circular economy is a viable solution for tackling the waste problem.

The project will enable 100 waste reclaimers to use technology to track the amount of waste collected and find buyers through Kudoti’s technology platform and network.

The waste collectors will be empowered and trained on how to make an income as well as on how to manage a business and their finances. Nestlé has also committed to purchasing equipment to further assist the operation in the long run and will reward the waste reclaimers with a monthly stipend.

Project will be a phased intervention for Tembisa community

The RE-Imagine Tomorrow pilot project will be a phased intervention for the community of Mqantsa in Tembisa.

The company says the beginning of the phase is about awakening a focused increase of waste collection through the informal waste reclaimers, while the second phase, ‘engage’, will include educating the community on rethinking their relationship with waste and reducing their own waste footprint.

The sustain phase will bring to life repurposing by creating beauty out of waste for the benefit of the community through public furniture created from the waste collected. The company expects this approach to “achieve efficient economic growth while minimising negative environmental impact”.

Saint-Francis Tohlang, corporate communications and public affairs director at Nestlé ESAR, said that this pilot project is part of Nestlé’s broader RE sustainability initiative which focuses on its pillars of REthink, REduce and REpurpose.

“Through this initiative, we hope to drive a paradigm shift by formulating and implementing solutions that will safeguard the environment. We hope that initiatives such as RE will encourage people, not only in Tembisa but across the country, to play their part and REthink, REduce and REpurpose,” Tohlang said.

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