Nestlé launches RE Pilot Project empower informal waste reclaimers

Food-manufacturing company hosted the official launch of its RE pilot project in Tembisa, Gauteng on Saturday, 18th September 2021

In celebration of National Recycling Week and Let’s Do It World Clean-up Day 2021, Nestlé East & Southern Africa Region launched its ‘RE-Imagine Tomorrow’ pilot project in Tembisa on Saturday, 18th September. The event was hosted by climate activist and change agent, Catherine Constantinides. Saint- Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR), highlighted how informal waste reclaimers play an important role in the management of waste. Through the RE-imagine Tomorrow pilot project, Nestlé 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.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 22 September 2021,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- In celebration of National Recycling Week and Let’s Do It World Clean-up Day 2021, Nestlé East & Southern Africa Region joined forces with Kudoti, a waste tech start-up, to launch its ‘RE-Imagine Tomorrow’ pilot project in Tembisa to demonstrate how the circular economy is a viable solution for tackling the waste problem.

By working with Kudoti and Destination Green, the implementation partner and buy back centre, Nestlé 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 and will receive a monthly stipend through a subsidy by Nestlé. Training will include business and finance education to equip the waste reclaimers to further boost their incomes along with the provision of physical resources such as protective gear. One of the other elements contributed by Nestlé will be the purchase of a forklift to further assist the operation in the long run. The ‘RE-Imagine Tomorrow’ pilot project will be a phased intervention for the community of Mqantsa, Tembisa. The beginning of the phase is about awakening a focused increase of waste collection through the informal waste reclaimers. Engage will include educating the community on rethinking their relationship with waste and reducing their own waste footprint. Finally, 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 circular economy model aims to use waste streams as secondary resources and recover waste for reuse and recycling. This approach is expected to achieve efficient economic growth while minimising negative environmental impact.

Bruno Olierhoek, CEO of Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) delivered a keynote address where he stated that a waste free future is part of Nestlé’s vision and that the organisation has embraced the fact that it needs to move beyond sustainability to being restorative and ultimately regenerative. Gift Lubele, co-founder and COO of Kudoti, demonstrated how the organisation’s application works and can empower waste reclaimers to find buyers through Kudoti’s technology platform and network.

Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR), adds, “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.”

Faith Diketsane, co-founder of Destination Green, detailed how the RE-imagine Tomorrow pilot project will empower 100 reclaimers in their network.Waste reclaimers received protective gear, sponsored by Nestlé, that will make them easily identifiable and protected when they collect waste in Tembisa.

The RE initiative encourages society to RETHINK, REDUCE and REPURPOSE. The RETHINK pillar is about encouraging broader society to rethink its relationship with the environment. Nestlé will educate the public about ways to change their behaviour to serve the environment through responsible practices such as recycling. The REDUCE pillar highlights Nestlé’s commitment towards reducing its environmental impact to zero carbon emissions by 2030. Lastly, the REPURPOSE pillar focuses on upcycling and reusing materials which are crucial to driving a circular economy. 

“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,” concluded Tohlang.

Members of the community and waste reclaimers, along with Nestlé, Kudoti and Destination Green took part in a clean-up in Mqantsa, Tembisa on Saturday, 18 September to strengthen their collective contribution to a waste-free future for the community.

Members of the community and over 20 waste reclaimers, along with Nestlé, Kudoti, Destination Green and members of the media took part in a clean-up in Mqantsa, Tembisa on the day to strengthen its collective contribution to a waste-free future for the community.

For more information on RE programme visit www.nestle-esar.com/re

To see the video of the official launch of the RE pilot project in Tembisa, CLICK HERE

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Weber Shandwick.

Contact Londiwe Mbokazi
Tel: 078 838 9735
Email: lmbokazi@webershandwick.com

About Nestlé
Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. It is present in 187 countries around the world, and its 291,000 employees are committed to Nestlé’s purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality for everyone, today and for generations to come. Nestlé offers a wide portfolio of products and services for people and their pets throughout their lives. Its more than 2,000 brands range from global icons like Nescafé or Nespresso to local favorites like Ricoffy. Company performance is driven by its Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy. Nestlé is based in the Swiss town of Vevey where it was founded more than 150 years ago.

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