Efforts of Argentina’s Informal Waste Pickers to Finance Decent Work and Social Protection through Extended Producer Responsibility Legislation

Informal waste pickers, known as cartoneros and cartoneras in Argentina, have been at the forefront of this struggle for decades, winning victories that were later extended to other popular economy workers. Contextualized within this struggle, this study analyzes the efforts of waste pickers and their unions to leverage increased environmental concerns and proposed legislation to gain improved access and financing for decent work and social protection.

This paper focuses on how the Packaging Bill seeks to foster improved social inclusion, working conditions and access to social protection for waste pickers by guaranteeing funding for worker-run schemes that work towards these objectives. The direct funding of such worker-run programmes is one of the most innovative aspects of the bill and could set a precedent for future laws.