The Power of Plastic: Schwarzkopf Gives a Million Chances

Schwarzkopf – an international brand known for its incredible colour and hair styling products, but they’re big on the environment too! The Henkel-owned hair care pioneer has decided to clean up the planet with their Million Chances initiative, a partnership between Schwarzkopf and the Plastic Bank. The Plastic Bank is a globally recognised organisation that reduces plastic waste by providing opportunities for local volunteers who remove it from their environment, an effort primarily focused on countries that lack an effective waste management infrastructure. Ultimately this means less plastic polluting our oceans (and fewer disturbing videos of animals with rubbish wrapped around their throats…).

David Katz, founder and CEO of the Plastic Bank, commented:

“Our chain of collections in Haiti engages the poor to be able to provide a way for plastic to be used as money. The sale of social plastic provides an income for the world’s poor.”

The Plastic Bank has been operating since 2013, but this joint venture will see Schwarzkopf focus on Haiti. They will offer the local girls and women an opportunity to collect plastic and exchange it for goods and services at their collection centres. The project is a perfect way to care for the environment and those that inhabit it.

Marie-Ève Schröder, the Corporate Senior VP of International Marketing for Henkel Beauty Care, said the following:

“In a country like Haiti that is shaped by poverty and the lack of prospects, you need a fair bit of patience and have to invest a lot of time and dedication to be successful with your cause. That’s exactly what Schwarzkopf’s Million Chances initiative is doing here and over the course of the partnership with the Plastic Bank. In particular, we are focusing on the daily needs and problems of girls and women.”

There are many incentives to using the service, including areas to charge their mobile phones, unlimited access to the internet and a quiet place for children to study in an environment conducive to learning. The money they earn provides a steady income, which can then used to put children through school. In a country where school is fee-based, and the cost of transport, books and mandatory uniforms is almost impossible for many to cover, an opportunity such as this offers tremendous opportunities for the local children. It offers them the support, freedom and confidence to do what most of us take for granted – a chance to just get on with their everyday lives.

The impact this project will have on the lives of those in Haiti who utilise this resource is undeniable, and Schröder agrees:

“Environmental issues, poverty, not enough educational opportunities and jobs – these are only a few of the challenges that women face on a daily basis. What’s more is that often the women have to raise their children all by themselves. I am sure that we can help girls and women here in Haiti and offer them a way to be more self-confident, as well as providing better chances and future prospects with Schwarzkopf’s Million Chances initiative.”

The Plastic Bank have created a brilliant initiative to positively impact both humanity and the world, as their recycled “Social Plastic” can be processed and supplied to companies as a direct result of the hard work put in by the locals. Who knew plastic pollution had its benefits? Yes, I know it would be great if the plastic in our oceans wasn’t there to begin with, but this is a great way to rectify our mistakes. A negative becoming a positive, and it’s helping struggling communities along the way! It’s not often you see large companies taking initiative and using their power for good either, and it’s great to see Schwarzkopf giving back to a world that it continuously benefits from.

To read more on this wonderful project or to find out how you can play a part, please visit

Author: Charmaine Musonza