Alice Piaggio


Carton Plein is a social and professional integration association that helps people suffering from social exclusion to find work, by providing them with complementary and adapted support services and ecologically innovative activities such as cardboard recycling and cyclo-logistics.


Carton Plein’s main aim is to combat the exclusion of people who are furthest from employment, and to reintegrate them into society. Carton Plein was set up in 2012 when two individuals met, one of them being homeless with experience of recovering materials. Their idea was to collect cardboard and sell it by weight for recycling. The idea then developed, going beyond recycling to reuse, with the aim of giving work to those who don’t have any, without the need for any pre-requisites.

When, in 2023, the Nuit de la Solidarité in Paris still counted more than 3,000 homeless people and the 28th report on the state of poor housing by the Fondation Abbé Pierre mentions 330,000 homeless people in France, there is still a long way to go. For Carton Plein, it is possible to get out of the vicious circle of precariousness, but also of the waste of resources and pollution with a project that allows each and every one of us to find our place in society through an activity that creates value and respects the environment.


© Fondation Caritas

Technical details & Operations

Every year, Carton Plein trains around a hundred people who are unemployed in the re-use and sale of second-hand cardboard, as well as in the profession of cyclo-logistician. With its delivery, collection and removal services by bicycle, Carton Plein is combating air pollution by using new carbon-free logistics models, while supporting employees throughout their career. Carton Plein’s aim is to change last-mile logistics services by offering a more supportive and sustainable alternative. In more than 10 years, their cycling activities have avoided more than 119 tonnes of CO2.

At the same time, the 1.7 billion parcels delivered each year in France generate 300,000 tonnes of packaging waste, only 64% of which is recycled ( source: Citéo). In response to this challenge, Carton Plein offers to collect cardboard and materials that can be recycled, as well as selling second-hand cardboard (moving boxes or converted products such as protective rolls or cardboard flakes that can be used as compost, bubble wrap, litter, etc.) to professionals and private individuals. This re-use activity is more environmentally friendly than recycling. The development of this sector (collection, reuse, resale) is booming, and helps people who are homeless or have been homeless to get back into paid employment.

© Fondation Caritas

Deployment & Impact

Carton Plein has supported more than 906 people since its creation in 2012, with 147 people supported in 2023 alone. The association is continuing to develop to improve its support by offering adapted employment opportunities, whether in other integration projects, on fixed-term or permanent contracts or in a health centre. In 2022, there were 22 positive employment outcomes, as well as numerous training courses in various sectors and the unlocking of numerous rights (access to healthcare, housing, etc.). In a study carried out in 2022, 81% of the beneficiaries said that they had gained both technical and interpersonal skills thanks to their time at Carton Plein, which had also improved their self-esteem. The project has been able to develop thanks to public and private funding and a turnover generated mainly by the bicycle logistics activity. These partnerships have enabled the organisation to anchor its activity in Paris and the Paris region by developing its business in Paris, Nanterre and Saint-Denis. In addition to the social dimension, cycle logistics and cardboard recycling now enable them to collect almost 73 tonnes of cardboard a month for recycling.


© Fondation Caritas