Packaging manufacturer Huhtamaki has partnered with charity WasteAid in a project aimed at driving community-level innovation that contributes towards building a circular economy.

The €900,000 partnership is part of a pledge by Huhtamaki to mark its 100-year anniversary by donating €3 million to global sustainability initiatives with a local impact.

The Huhtamaki-funded project, operating in South Africa, Vietnam, and India, will enable WasteAid to work with key stakeholders to fast-track and amplify local solutions that reduce waste and pollution. Huhtamaki’s funding will also support the charity in delivering education and training on waste management and circular systems to local communities.

Over a two-year period, WasteAid will help to create a ‘new generation of green entrepreneurs’, by using its expertise in sustainable waste management to support the development of business ideas.

According to Huhtamaki, the project will educate local communities via a cloud-based learning platform, networking events and training programmes, while competitions will aim to inspire innovative sustainable solutions.

“The shift towards a circular economy offers vast potential for global development and WasteAid is proud to be at the forefront of that change,” said Ceris Turner-Bailes, WasteAid CEO.

“This major partnership between WasteAid and Huhtamaki offers the opportunity for greater impact and is a huge milestone in the development of WasteAid as an organisation.

“We’re delighted to be working with the Huhtamaki team and look forward to delivering this groundbreaking initiative over the coming two years.”

President and CEO of Huhtamaki, Charles Héaulmé, said: “We want to support local communities concretely, by providing education and training on waste management and circular systems.

“We will be learning from our partnership with WasteAid and will share our insights with global stakeholders as part of our sustainability journey to deliver on our 2030 strategy.”