By Onuwa Lucky Joseph
“It was the 3rd of September, that day I’ll always remember…”
Who doesn’t remember that intro to ‘Papa was a Rolling Stone’; a classic song by the fabled group, The Temptations. Sad story, the song. The father referenced was a rolling stone that gathered no moss. “Wherever he laid his hat was his home.” Pretty much what plastics do in today’s environment, wouldn’t you say. They nestle anywhere until another force comes that pushes them somewhere else. They are here, there and everywhere, to channel another old song.
So how apt it is that 3rd of September was chosen as World Clean Up Day; a civic movement uniting 180 countries and millions of people to clean up planet earth in one symbolic day. It is also a social action program aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris. As it turns out, the number one item on the clean-up rakes and brooms and gloves are wayward plastics that should be bagged for recycling or safe disposal to ensure they neither mess up earth’s aesthetic nor its environmental integrity.
On World Clean Up Day 2020, members of the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) decided on the to come together to create awareness on the need for collaborative action.
Established in 2018 as the Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) for the food and beverage sector with a focus on enabling the collection, recovery and recycling of post-consumer packaging waste in compliance with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) guidelines, part of FBRA’s mandate is promoting behavior change through consumer education and the empowerment of the recycling ecosystem.
Working with other concerned stakeholders including Geocycle of Lafarge Group, Green Janitors, Kids Beach Garden, Recycledge, NESREA and LAWMA, the FBRA organized clean-up activities at Badagry, Ojo and Bonny Camp, in Lagos, and at Agbowo in Ibadan to raise awareness within the local communities on the need to collaborate with community collectors to care for our environment. Over 2,000kg of waste was removed from the environment through these clean-up activities to mark World Cleanup Day 2020. Volunteers from member companies including Nestlé, 7-up Bottling Company and International Breweries were on ground at the three locations to sensitize residents.
While Agharese Onaghise, Executive Secretary, FBRA, promised that “We will continue to lead this change as well as the adoption of practices and partnerships to advance this important mandate,” Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Nestlé Nigeria, reaffirmed, at the Badagry Cleanup exercise the Nestlé vision that “none of our packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfills, in oceans, or any waterways”, purpose being “to enhance quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come. ”
FBRA members – Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, Nestlé Nigeria Plc., Nigerian Breweries Plc., Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited, Guinness Nigeria Plc., Intercontinental Distillers Limited, International Breweries Limited, Tulip Cocoa, Prima Caps and Preforms, DOW Chemicals, Tetrapak West Africa, The LaCasera Company Limited and Engee PET Manufacturing Limited provided incentives and support to reach a maximum number of people and to motivate the community collectors.
Hopefully, 3rd of September next year should witness a much larger turnout.