NIGERIA – Food and beverage manufacturer Rite Foods has continued its ongoing initiative of cleaning up plastics from beaches through its ‘Riteonthebeach’ initiative with a clean-up exercise at Tarkwa Bay Beach.

This initiative, launched in collaboration with Popbeachclub, an eco-resort in Lagos, focuses on cleaning up plastic waste from beaches.

Since its inception in August 2021, ‘Riteonthebeach’ has effectively removed more than 180,000 pieces of plastic from coastal areas.

This vital program extends beyond just clean-up efforts; it also encourages local residents to actively engage in plastic collection and establishes systems for recycling as a means of creating jobs and enriching the community.

The funds generated from this initiative are used to provide school supplies for children living along the Lagos shorelines.

Managing Director of Rite Foods, Seleem Adegunwa, aptly emphasized their shared mission, stating: “We are committed to promoting innovation, supporting sustainability, and creating a cleaner environment through collaborative efforts.”

Founder of Popbeachclub, Akin Disu added: “It is important for people to recognize that plastics are not mere rubbish; they hold value and can be recycled.

“They should be collected from the environment rather than being disposed of in wetlands to protect the fish and migratory birds that inhabit those areas.”

He said that children in coastal areas bring 22 plastic bottles collected by their parents to school daily.

According to him, the students with the highest number of plastics collected in a term are given scholarships. These bottles are then processed by women in the community as part of a job creation initiative.

He, therefore, called for widespread adoption of such practices, not only in coastal areas but also in cities, where separating plastics at their source and recycling them can prevent environmental pollution.

In another development, Lagos-based low-cost school, My Dream Stead School is accepting recyclable waste as payment.

To this effect, a local environmental organization called the African Cleanup Initiative has been collecting bottles, cans, drink cartons and plastic containers brought into the schools by parents and selling them to recyclers in Lagos.

The proceeds of the sales pay teachers’ salaries, children’s uniforms, books and pens, among other expenses.

The scheme aims to reduce the number of children out of school as well as the amount of rubbish on the streets of Lagos, said Alexander Akhigbe, founder of the environmental group.

This does not only promote education in the area but also greatly contributes to the conservation of the environment.

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