The Cartoneros

 

After the shops in Argentina’s capital city have closed, the working day of the Cartoneros begins. Around 35000 people make their way to the city center to sift through the day’s rubbish for reusable materials. Plastic, glass, cartons, metal, wood or paper – the Cartoneros load all recyclable materials onto their “carts” and bring them to the recycling plant. The next morning, the items are then separated by materials and resold. This is the only way in which many of Argentina’s people, plagued by the years-long economic crisis, have been able to guarantee their survival. The Cartoneros are a marginalized population and eschewed by society. Because of this, they need your support.

Those working to sensitize the general public to the Cartoneros issue were offered a gleam of hope when Pope Francis I recognized the Cartoneros in his first Christmas address and raised awareness of their situation, when describing the activities of the Cartoneros: „With your recycling you are doing two things: a necessary ecological activity and on the other hand you realize a fraternizing production that gives dignity to this work. Your creativity shows in the production process as well as in the way you are taking care of the planet with your ecological vision“.

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