Coca-Cola Nigeria celebrates World Environment Day

Coca-Cola Nigeria has celebrated World Environment Day by rewarding local volunteers that included street sweepers among others.

World Environment Day is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for awareness and action for the protection of the environment marked on June 5 every year.

The Coca-Cola System said it was committed to reducing waste by helping to collect the same amount of packages it sells for reuse, help communities identify and to motivate consumers to recycle their bottles.

In line with this vision, Coca-Cola Nigeria’s employees began collecting used plastic/PET bottles on a weekly basis from their homes and neighbourhoods.

These were dropped at a designated collection centre where the company’s programme partners, RecyclePoint, picked them up for processing.

A statement by Coca-Cola said, “The modest initiative began with just a few bottles and cans collected monthly, but then began to gain traction as associate volunteers from the CokeCARES team began to drive active collection and participation in the initiative.

“This drew the attention of onlookers and community bystanders who curiously enquired to know more about the plastic collections and recycling activities. This provided an opportunity for proper but timely education on the importance of careful management and responsible disposal of post-consumer waste, especially PET.”

According to the statement, the Ikoyi neighbourhood of Gerrard Road, where the Coca-Cola Nigeria office is situated saw increased participation from female street sweepers, janitors and residents who keyed into the World Without Waste Initiative leading to more plastic bottles and other recyclables being mopped up within the neighborhood.

Leading this year’s collection drive, Mrs. Abidemi Salau, a widow and mother of three, has since January, single-handedly collected over one ton of PET bottles and other recyclables.

She said, “I am happy that the small proceeds I get from this support me and my family and this is my little way of contributing to a cleaner environment.”

To mark this year’s World Environment Day, Coca-Cola Nigeria under the auspices of its associate volunteer programme, CokeCARES, decided to celebrate and encourage Salau others who had dedicated themselves to
the daily collection and drop-off of PET bottles from the neighborhood, with a session comprising short but informative remarks on the need to preserve the environment and Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste vision.

The collectors who received food packs, shopping vouchers, and beverages, expressed delight at the gesture and committed to the continuous collection of these PET bottles.

Mazi Uzonu, Founder of Recycle Point – partners of Coca-Cola said, “Plastic waste poses a threat to the environment and if properly recycled, we can make the most of these recyclables and improve our environment.”

In her closing remarks, the Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Manager for Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, said, “On days like this, it’s important to not only reflect on the decadence of our environment but to be reminded of the responsibility that we all have in making the world cleaner, safer and
more sustainable.”

The statement disclosed that a total of 8,474kg of recyclables have been collected and repurposed for other uses so far.

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