Our 'Lemon Aide' project is boosting the rate of plastic bottle recycling in France by building a community-oriented social enterprise that collects and recycles waste. Along the way, it creates jobs for the long-term unemployed people as well as for people with low workforce qualifications. In 2015, the Danone Ecosystem Fund and Danone Eaux France co-founded the project with French start-up Lemon Tri, a specialist in innovative recycling solutions, and the Foundation for Action against Exclusion (FACE).
Why it matters
In France, only about one in two plastic bottles is recycled—a figure that falls to one in five in Paris, Marseille and other major cities. Meanwhile, unemployment has reached a record high. The project has joined the quest for innovative recycling solutions that will get more of its bottles into the recycling bins, help it source high quality recycled plastic, and create employment opportunities for people who are shut out of the job market.
How it works
'Lemon Aide' runs on a socially inclusive business model, giving people job opportunities and providing them with social support, training and mentoring. The project is also creating a new network for collection and recycling of PET and other recyclables, and promoting social entrepreneurship in the circular economy.
How it creates value
The impact of 'Lemon Aide' is threefold: social, environmental and economic. It helps people with no qualifications develop skills through training and new job opportunities. It promotes recycling of plastic bottles, contributes to the circular economy and enhances the quality of recycled plastic.