With increasing use of plastic packaging, poor waste management and the lack of an adequate recycling ecosystem, there is a need to take proactive measures to safeguard our environment for future generations. These were sentiments shared as members of the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) joined forces to create awareness on the need for collaborative action on World Clean Up Day 2020.
World Clean-up Day, annually celebrated on September 3, is a civic movement, uniting 180 countries and millions of people across the world to clean up the planet in one day. It is also a social action programme aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris.
Working with other concerned stakeholders including Geocycle of Lafarge Group, Green Janitors, Kids Beach Garden, Recycledge, NESREA and LAWMA, the FBRA organised 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 sensitise the residents.
“The World Clean Up Day is a reminder that we all have a part to play in attaining a zero-waste future. The FBRA coalition is founded on the strong commitment of our member organizations to deliver on goals that will have a significant impact on the promotion of environmental sustainability. So far, through various activities and programs, over 1,718,338 kilograms of plastic waste have been removed from our environment since inception in 2018.
“We will continue to lead this change as well as the adoption of practices and partnerships to advance this important mandate,” said the Executive Secretary, FBRA, Agharese Onaghise.
Speaking at the Badagry Cleanup exercise on World Clean Up Day, Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Nestlé Nigeria, said, “At Nestlé, our vision is that none of our packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfills, in oceans, or any waterways. As one of the founding members of the FBRA, we are working hard alongside other stakeholders to achieve a waste-free future in Nigeria in line with our purpose of enhancing quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come. We are here today with other Nestlé Cares Volunteers to create awareness in the Badagry community that ensuring the health of our environment takes all of us.”
Other members of the FBRA comprising 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 in line with the association’s purpose of enabling a circular economy to improve waste collection, sorting and management.
FBRA was 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 its mandate is promoting behaviour change through consumer education and the empowerment of the recycling ecosystem. Since inception, the group has continued to support the waste potential in Nigeria through various initiatives such as community recycling programmes, buy-back schemes and engagement of stakeholders in the waste value chain to promote a circular economy.