Turkey's Changemakers: 'Garbage Ladies' go global
The project, which officially started in August 2008, began with approximately 60 women working in Ayvalık.On July 6, 2012, the Sabancı Foundation’s Changemakers program hosted Tara Hopkins.
Tara Hopkins, who was actively implementing the “Garbage Lady” program to empower women to participate in economic life, recently began exporting profitable, creative and sustainable bags which are produced from recycled materials.
The project, which officially started in August 2008, began with approximately 60 women working in Ayvalık (Balıkesir), Istanbul and Diyarbakır earning money per bag. Since then, nearly 600 women have been included in the project and 7,500 profitable bags were made from recycled materials. Tons of packaging waste, flour sacks and waste paper were recycled as part of the project.
These bags were sold in many cities, especially in Istanbul. Tara Hopkins has now expanded the business and will sell the bags in Greece, the Netherlands and the United States.
Each “Garbage Lady” bag not only provides regular income for the women producing them but also encourages its buyers to think about recycling.