By Onome Amuge
The Coca-Cola Foundation, in partnership with the Statewide Waste and Environmental Education Project (SWEEP), have commenced the long awaited environmental-protective programme tagged “Waste In The City” aimed at unclogging blocked drainages and canals by extracting PET bottles, cans and other plastic waste, recycling them through accredited off-takers while providing economic empowerment for youth and women across target communities in Lagos State.
The programme, officially launched across communities in Surulere LGA, Coker-Aguda and Itire-Ikate LCDAs on Thursday, February 25, saw the deployment of 100 recycling receptacles and 10 tricycles across the communities to ensure the collected PET bottles are evacuated in real time to aggregation centers for recycling.
Commenting on the initiative, Alfred Olajide, managing director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, reiterated the company’s commitment to ensuring a waste-free world by making recycling more accessible globally while aiming to achieve 100 per cent collection and recycling of bottles and cans by 2030.
He explained that the programme is a three-part project encompassing mass mobilization and community advocacy, deployment of waste collection receptacles and provision of sustainable livelihood for community youths.
Olajide also assured that the programme will help communities identify and better understand how and where to recycle, further empowering over 100 women and youth who will earn a living from it.
On her part, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, first lady, Lagos State, expressed confidence that the collaboration would help tackle waste management issues in the state and also, increase awareness through community town-halls, increased participation of target communities in environmental education town-halls and promotion of sustainable plastic waste management at the community level.
Other notable dignitaries present at the launch event include: Arese Onaghise, executive secretary, Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance; Sheriffa Ewumi-Dosunmu,director, Community Development, Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, and Muis Dosunmu, vice chairman, Surulere Local Government Area.
The Coca-Cola Foundation which acts as the global philanthropic arm of the Coca-Cola company was launched in 1984. Its main goal is to support implementation of projects by funding community support programmes including;helping protect the environment, promote recycling, empower youths and women as well as, enhance the overall development of communities around the world.