The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded a grant to Growing Business Foundation (GBF) targeted at strengthening the plastic waste management value chain through its Empowering Collectors Initiative (ECI), designed to improve the largely informal plastic waste collection, aggregation and recycling process in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Alfred Olajide, on Monday in Lagos, during the launch of the initiative.
It was gathered that the program would run for about 24 months and seeks to enhance environmental resilience by preventing the flow of plastic waste, especially PET, to waterways and landfills through an aggressive and organized system that targets about 25,000 MT of waste.
Olajide was represented at the occasion by Director, Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe.
The President, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Saadia Madsbjerg, explained that the initiative was aimed at creating an economic ecosystem that would not only support environmentally beneficial actions but would also provide women with skills and trainings in the waste management value chain – enabling their economic empowerment and in turn improving quality of life for their families.
According to Madsbjerg, “our commitment is to continue to enable the empowerment of women in as many communities as we can, providing them with the necessary knowledge required to improve their capacity to generate wealth in a more sustainable way and with a positive impact on our environment.”
In her contribution, Founder, Growing Business Foundation, Ndidi Nnoli-Edozie (PhD) expressed pleasure at the support from The Coca-Cola Foundation for the Empowering Collectors Initiative as it has the capacity to impact every aspect of the value chain.
She said, “We are passionate about uplifting and empowering communities as we believe that we can make a difference in the poverty situation across the country. With ECI, we are set to significantly impact the economically vulnerable, help in promoting a circular economy, and ultimately drive down cost of doing business.”
According to her, the ultimate objective of the program is to support and accelerate the growing opportunity spectrum of the bottle-to-bottle recycling value chain which is still nascent in the Country.
The initiative will also empower 3000 female collectors and micro aggregators across six states of Nigeria, representing key hubs where increased urban migration and economic activity coupled with a poor waste management system has exacerbated the waste concerns in the country.
Target participants will receive training on effective and efficient collection methods, hygiene skills while working in waste and will also receive materials including PPE to ensure their safety. The program seeks to help participants, through their transferable skills program, to improve earning capacity of the women by 200 per cent from current earnings of about $2 a day.
It was also gathered that GBF would partner with experienced sector aggregators including RecyclePoints Limited, Greenhill Recycling Limited, RecycleGarb Hub Limited, Fifthseed Recycling Limited, Green Axis, Idrate Solutions Limited, Ceetee Recyclers Limited, Chanja Datti, Recycling Co. Ltd, Trash Monger Limited, WasteXchange Limited, through which the initiative will be implemented across the six regions of the Country.
Growing Business Foundation was founded 21 years ago with a mission to combat poverty and promote sustainable and wholesome existing through meaningful development enterprises amongst the poorest people in Nigeria. They are a Member of the Commonwealth of Nations Initiative.
The Coca-Cola Foundation is the primary international philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, The Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world.