The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
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In this video taken at the Waste and Citizenship Festival in France, Roberto Prates Reis, National Movement of Waste Pickers (MNCR), talks about the reality of waste pickers (called “biffins”) in France: “It’s interesting when you start looking at waste management experiences around the world and you start to realize that the issue of livelihood is a universal one … In France, in the last 200 years waste picking has been disappearing… Municipal governments prohibited the activity, incinerators starting appearing, and private companies took over (and today, waste pickers are fined 500 Euros if they are caught collecting recyclables)…But today waste picking is returning in a big way because of unemployment and immigration. Our visit to the biffins was about political mobilization/organizing waste pickers in France because the MNCR does a lot of international mobilizing with waste pickers across Latin America, in India, China and Africa…”