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Waste pickers risk their lives to stop plastic pollution – now they could help shape global recycling policies

By Patrick O'Hare, UKRI Future Leader Fellow, University of St Andrews
Lucia Fernandez, Waste Pickers Global Coordinator, WIEGO & Lecturer in Architecture, Design and Urbanism, Universidad de la República Uruguay
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Globally, waste pickers are responsible for collecting and recovering – from homes, businesses and landfills – up to 60% of all plastics which are then recycled. These workers do more than any other people to prevent plastic contaminating the environment, yet their work is rarely valued and they struggle to earn a decent living.

Despite recycling the waste of others, waste pickers often lack waste collection services themselves. They suffer the consequences of…The Conversation

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