Published On: December 23, 20194.9 min read972 words

The Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) has partnered Green Janitors Sustainability Initiative to rid Badagry Community of plastic waste during three months Pick-a-Plastic campaign which was launched on Saturday, December 21, 2019.

The sensitisation for the campaign at Badagry, which was initiated by Green Janitors and LAWMA, commenced on Saturday, December 14, as part of efforts at reinforcing the Blue Box programme of Lagos State Government aimed at ensuring a cleaner environment.

Pick-the-Plastic initiative is part of a three-month campaign aimed at educating Lagos communities on waste separation from source and rewards for collection of post-consumer packaging waste, especially plastics for recycling.

The programme saw representatives of the Lagos State Governor, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), members of FBRA, Recycling organisations and other stakeholders in the waste management industry in attendance.

During the one week awareness drive in the ancient town on December 14, Lagos State Government in collaboration with FBRA participated in the distribution of waste bags for the collection of recyclables (plastic, nylons, cans and glass waste) and domestic waste.

Addressing Badagry residents on Saturday during the kick-off of the campaign and the rewards exercise, FBRA’s Chairman, Sade Morgan represented by a Director of the Alliance, Ekuma Eze from Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) emphasised the need for all to promote recycling at the community level in order for us to foster environmental sustainability and a cleaner environment.

He said the Alliance was highly delighted in partnering with Green Janitors in its environmental conservation initiative which is in line with Lagos State Blue Box programme. “FBRA is committed in developing a sustainable recycling economy as the Badagry initiative is part of its ongoing campaign of engaging communities to promote recovery and enhance recycling through its ‘buy-back and rewards scheme as a means of mopping up the post-consumer packing waste from the environment.

He emphasised the need for all to take action on the plastic waste menace in our environment through collaborative efforts of various stakeholders. FBRA has been embarking on community enlightenment campaigns through the rewards program to reduce environmental pollution, create awareness for segregation at the source and encourage proper disposal of waste especially plastics that have contributed to flooding in most areas. It is committed to do more to enhance the recovery, collection and recycling of our post-consumer packing waste from the environment.

According to him, FBRA’s activities are in compliance with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy of the Federal Government which transfers significant responsibility to producers for the entire lifecycle of their product.
Commenting on the Pick-a-Plastic campaign, the Director of Research and Development, LASEPA Adebodun Toplonu Sewanu commented that this is a laudable initiative that has been established in Badagry which is in line with the Lagos State Government Blue Box programme and the mandate of FBRA through the food and beverage companies.

He said ‘imagine what would have happened if these plastic bottled were not mined through this initiative today? Our drains will have been clogged with the potential of flooding, the shorelines of surface water would have half of them, tourism will not strive with plastic nuisance on shorelines, and waterways will not be swimable and navigable. So, this program is ‘a win’ for me by improving waste management in the coastal area not only in Badagry but in Lagos as a State.

Finally, he commended Lagos State, FBRA, Green Janitors, the Recyclers, LAWMA and residents of Badagry, thank you for the collaborative efforts of supporting this campaign

On the success of the campaign, the Executive Director, Green Janitors Sustainability Initiative, Ashade Abdulsalam, said it was quite encouraging as both old and young embraced the initiative with sense of responsibility of keeping the environment free from food and beverage packaging waste, especially plastics.

Rewards were given to the individual with the most recovered volume of plastics during the event. The best participant was a little boy, Adebori King David, who picked 70kg of plastics, attesting to the wide acceptance of the programme. It was followed by 60kg, collected by Dosa Medese, an adult street cleaner that works for LAWMA in Badagry and 47kg of plastics gathered by a young woman, Balogun Christiana, these winners got rewards items to encourage them to keep our environment clean.

At the end of the launch, the total volume of plastic collected and recovered on 21st of December was over five (5) tonnes which is an indication that the campaign was well received by residents of Badagry. There is a need for this program to be sustained in the area within the campaign period and beyond. This to be replicated in other areas so that recycling will become a culture as we continue to promote collection of plastics especially Polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

“The participation which cut across age segments demonstrated that the sensitisation campaign carried during the commencement of the Pick-a-Plastic campaign awakened the consciousness of proper waste separation from source among Badagry residents. It was a call to action which l believe would be inculcated in the people’s way of life, and l commended Lagos State and FBRA for their support in making it a success,” Abdulsalam avowed.

FBRA has embarked on various clean-up initiatives, most recently during the World Clean-up Day at Agege in 2019, Arena Market at Oshodi in 2018as well as the buy-back scheme on recyclable waste at Orile, Badore, Lamgbasa and Ojo Communities.

It has partnered and also donated boats and equipment to Lagos State for the mopping of post-consumer waste from the waterways in order to curb pollution, save aquatic lives and make it navigable.

Founded in December 2013, the Alliance has membership drawn from responsible and forward-thinking companies which include Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (Manufacturers of Coca-Cola brands), Nigerian Breweries Plc, Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Intercontinental Distillers Limited, International Breweries Limited, Tulip Cocoa, and Prima Caps and Preforms.