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BENGALURU - A partnership funded by the H&M Foundation claims to have improved the lives of 20,000 waste pickers in India while recycling discarded plastic into millions of new buttons for the fashion industry.

Saamuhika Shakti was launched two years ago as a first of its kind US$11 million programme to address gaps in the system that kept waste pickers in poverty and exclusion in Bengaluru, capital of the Indian state of Karnataka.

Buttons partly made from the plastic waste collected now feature on garments sold worldwide. The buttons are traceable down to the source of the waste, the names of the workers, their pay and working conditions.

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