The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on Sunday, August 12, 2019 urged companies manufacturing Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) to save the environment from plastic pollution through recycling.
Mrs Abidemi Balogun, NCF’s Senior Conservation Officer, Environmental Education, gave the charge in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The consultant also appealed to multinational companies to join the campaign against plastic pollution.
Balogun said the companies could attach incentives to waste collection and recycling to create more jobs and reduce plastic pollution to save the environment.
She explained that the NCF was carrying out an advocacy programme on proper waste collection, recycling and management in 17 communities in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos.
The NCF official said the aim of the campaign was to educate residents on dangers of inappropriate waste disposal, and that the residents were trained on waste-to-wealth and recycling initiatives.
Balogun said the foundation also introduced recycling points to buy the sorted wastes from the residents, saying most participants were earning good money from the programme.
She suggested the need for FMCGs and multinational corporations to perfect ways of buying back plastic wastes from residents for the purpose of recycling plastic products.
She said the NCF carried along community heads as it sensitised residents and engaged in physical clean up with them.
Balogun added that the foundation introduced a point-based collection with centres within the communities and participants were paid after reaching a particular level.
“Some of the communities just generate the waste; they did not know that they could generate income from it.
“One thing we identified from the exercise is that most of the waste is plastic and it is none biodegradable, it does not break down, so, most of it goes back into the environment or the water bodies.
“That is why for the 2018 World Environment Day, plastic pollution was the focus because it is a global concern.
“We call on other corporate organisations, the beverage companies to have initiatives like this, where they can develop programmes to buy off plastics from communities thereby engaging them.
“It will serve as a source of employment to the communities because if some people know that they can get money from collecting plastics, they will want to go into it as a full-time job because plastic is everywhere,’’ she said.
Balogun said the NCF had also started discussing with clubs in schools across the council area, and that the schools usually went round to clean up the environment while creating awareness.
“The students can also use the waste materials to make things they can use in the home.
“We want continuity of the initiative, that is why we are going beyond the communities to working with the schools because even when the children graduate, other children are there to continue the activity,’’ she said.
Balogun said the foundation got a grant of N7 million in 2017 for the programme, and that the criteria for selection of the communities included proximity to NCF and low-income areas.
She listed the communities to include, Mopo Onijebu, Ataguntan, Sangotedo, Badore and Ikate, among others.
By Grace Alegba