Imagine a massive landfill on the edge of a port city.
If you look closer amid the mountains of garbage, you’ll notice that it’s bustling with activity as children scour the dump, sifting through mounds of trash for recyclables to sell. It might be their families’ only source of income in the country, Haiti, the poorest in the Western hemisphere.
The work can be tedious and dangerous: They face long hours, unsafe conditions, and exposure to hazardous materials. Many children forgo school in order to help their family survive.
That’s why today, at the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York, HP and key partners announced a three-year program to assist Haitian children and their families by providing educational opportunities, including more than 200 scholarships, as well as physical exams and health and safety training for Haitians working at the Truitier landfill near Port-au-Prince .
As part of this CGI Commitment to Action, job training will also be provided for the adults, and more than $300,000 will be invested in local entrepreneurs, micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses. At the same time, HP has agreed to repurchase recycled plastics collected at Truitier as an expansion of its closed loop ink cartridge recycling program.
These initiatives, driven in tandem with environmentally conscious partners such as Thread International, Timberland, NGO Team Tassy and ACOP (Association des Collectors des objets en Plastic), are intended to empower people in Haiti to create a more prosperous life through better recycling practices. HP wants to help foster a more inclusive and Circular Economy that is healthier for the planet, as well as the people who work in its global supply chains.
“For many families near Truitier, the only revenue they ever see comes from the plastic recyclables their children collect in this landfill. We couldn’t turn a blind eye to the situation in Haiti. Most of those kids and their immediate families are struggling. They need assistance. And with our partners, we are offering them a chance to build a better future for themselves – with dignity.”Nate Hurst
HP’s Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer
As part of its commitment to Truitier, HP also agreed to purchase recycled PET plastic from the landfill to make new HP print cartridges. HP has worked with many partners around the world in this way, recapturing and blending recycled plastics together to create new cartridges. In fact, HP makes use of more than 1 million bottles each day. It has produced in excess of 3 billion ink cartridges using recycled materials.
“Through this commitment to action, HP continues to lead the industry toward a more inclusive Circular Economy,” said architect and designer William McDonough, principle of William McDonough + Partners and pioneer for sustainable environmental design and development. “They are benefitting the people in need in Haiti through positive economic, social and environmental actions.”