NIGERIA – The Coca-Cola System in Nigeria, comprising Coca-Cola Nigeria, CHI Limited and Nigeria Bottling Company is conducting its Annual System Beach Cleanup exercise in Lagos, tackling plastic pollution.

Through this vision, the company is investing in the planet and its packaging to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells globally – regardless of where it comes from – by 2030.

Every year, The Coca-Cola System in Nigeria pulls together like-minded partners for a beach cleanup drive focused on eliminating plastic waste debris from beaches, preserving the shorelines of coastal communities.

This year, in partnership with the Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), the total beverage company hosted residents and partners.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director, CHI Limited, Eelco Weber said: “For The Coca-Cola System in Nigeria, sustainability remains at the very core of all of our operations.

“We have set ambitious goals to facilitate this, and we are taking a leading role in Nigeria by collecting and recycling the equivalent of every bottle or can we sell by 2030.

“We are a socially responsible company, and we continue to lead the charge in Nigeria and globally by continuing to do what’s right for our planet, our communities, and our System.”

 According to The Lagos State Waste Management Authority, Lagos alone generates 9000 metric tonnes of waste daily; 86% comprises plastic bottles and bags.

 The menace of plastic pollution that has perennially plagued Lagos State has been largely down to lack of willingness on the part of residents to adopt recommended waste disposal means that have been prescribed by the relevant authorities, says Femi Idowu-Adegoke, an environmental expert and President of the Lagos Recyclers Association.

According to him, Nigeria’s recycling industry has been estimated to be worth a staggering US$2bn but has struggled to live up to this lofty estimation due to the menace of indiscriminate disposal of waste and poor orientation of Lagos residents on how to work with professionals to convert this liability to a viable economic opportunity.

To make a meaningful impact in addressing the issue of PET bottles, collaborative efforts are needed from bottlers, governments, and NGOs. In the fight for a sustainable future, collaboration is indispensable.

Expert raises alarm over increasing plastic pollution in Nigeria

Meanwhile, environmental expert, Mr. Olalekan Adio has called on the Federal Government to take necessary pragmatic steps to reduce the current rate of plastic pollution in the country due to its consequential effects on the health of citizens and the ecosystem.

He noted that most plastics were made from chemical materials from gas, oil and even coals, saying whenever plastic waste is dumped, they release carbon dioxide and methane from landfills into the atmosphere, thereby increasing emissions that result in climate change and global warming.

He called on Nigerians to emulate the habit of reducing plastic consumption, and other activities inimical to the environment.

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