By Samuel Popo
In 2018, The Coca-Cola Company launched a WorldWithoutWaste Campaign with a simple focused purpose to make the world’s packaging waste problem a thing of the past. The WorldWithoutWaste drive was built on three fundamental goals:
- Make all consumer packaging 100% recyclable by 2025 and aspire to create packaging that is at least 50% recycled material by 2030;
- Collect and recycle a bottle or can for each one the company sells by 2030;
- Work together with various partners to support a healthy, debris-free environment.
To drive home this global mandate, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited have partnered with RecyclePoints, a waste recycling and social enterprise to actualize a corporate recycling program. The program implores the company’s associates to weekly drop-off the recyclables they recovered from their homes or neighborhood at designated point at the company’s official car park where its program partners, Recycle Points, picks the recyclables up for onward processing. This program which started with Coca-Cola associates soon attracted keen observers within the Ikoyi community where Coca-Cola Head office is located. Street sweepers, facility cleaners, domestic helps and lots of other residents within Ikoyi axis quickly subscribed to participate and earn rewards following the recycling rewards program facilitated by Recycle Points recycling model. This scheme has attracted over 75 registered subscribers who have so far deposited over 10,000 kilograms of plastic bottles/cans.
At an official ceremony held on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, at the Coca Cola parking lot in Ikoyi to duly reward participants with exciting gifts, ranging from home appliances to foodstuff, the Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe said, “We have always remained committed to ensuring we achieve our environmental goals and this initiative is one of the many ways we aim to do so. We all have the collective responsibility of keeping our environment clean and Coca-Cola is committed to promoting a sustainable environment through its plastic recycling and recovery activities.”
She further noted that as part of Coca-Cola’s efforts to support communities recover from the economic challenges posed by the pandemic, a post-Covid economic empowerment programme tagged “Project Revive” has been launched. “The Project Revive will support the economic recovery and empowerment of women and youths who have been most impacted by the pandemic. They will be equipped with recyclables collection materials, training and access to drop-off points or recycling banks where they can exchange their recyclables for cash or household supplies. We’re resolutely focused on how we can create value and contribute best to our collective recovery like never before”.
As part of the event, a recycling bank was commissioned to aid the gathering and processing of the collected materials. Commenting on the recycling bank, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Aderonke Oduneye, said, “With this site, we’re making sure that the collection and onward processing of recycled materials is made seamless and easy. We’re very optimistic about the project as we’re working on making this a first of many. ”
“As partners, we are delighted to work with Coca-Cola to invest in the environment while in turn increasing the livelihood of our workers and Lagosians in general. We hope that we can inspire more residents to make a conscious effort to impact our environment positively” said Managing Director, Lagos Waste Management Authority, Ibrahim Adejuwon Odumboni.
The Executive Director of RecyclePoints, Mr. Taiwo Adewole announced that their partnership with Coca-Cola will inform the setting up of more Recycling Banks and Drop-off Points in the country to make recycling very accessible and convenient for post-consumers to dispose their waste responsibly. He stated that the target is to engage and empower 5,000 women before the end of the year under the Project Revive program and this will further strengthen Coca-Cola’s 5 by 20 ambition of empowering 5 million women entrepreneurs across its value change by 2020.
With grants of over $800,000 from the Coca-Cola Foundation to multiple local NGOs, several recycling and women empowerment programs are being implemented to address the issue of environmental protection while empowering women who are significant pillars of the environment.