The Coca-Cola System in Nigeria, comprising Coca-Cola Nigeria, CHI Limited and the Nigerian Bottling Company, has demonstrated its commitment to promoting sustainable ecosystems and ocean preservation through its Annual System Beach Cleanup exercise.
Through its World Without Waste vision, the company is investing in the planet and in its packaging with a goal 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, ultimately 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 to yet another impactful exercise at Elegushi Beach, Lagos.
The exercise, led by Doyinsola Ogunye, founder of the Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), saw an attendance of over 300 people and played host to notable environmental advocates including community volunteers and local environmental protection agencies, all coming together, united by a singular vision of a World Without Waste, championed by the leading beverage company.
Speaking at the event, Eelco Weber, the managing director, CHI Limited, said: “For The Coca-ColaSystem 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 Nigeriaand globally by continuing to do what’s right for our planet, our communities, and our System”.
Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, director of Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, during her opening remarks reiterated the significance of the exercise and how the company is committed to fostering partnerships that promote environmental preservation.
“While we have made progress against our World Without Waste goals, we’re also committed to doing more, faster, so that we grow our business the right way. That’s why in 2020, we signed a joint statement urging United Nations member states to adopt a global treaty to tackle the plastic waste issue and helped launch the Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty in 2022. We also announced an industry-leading target for reusable packaging aiming to have at least 25 percent of all beverages globally across our portfolio of brands sold in refillable or returnable glass or plastic bottles or in refillable containers. Ultimately, we recognize that we can’t achieve our goals alone,” she said.
She further noted that addressing plastic waste and recycling challenges requires collaboration between the industry, the public sector, and civil society.
Through effective collaboration as well as partnerships with NGOs such as the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA), National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP), Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), she hopes that impact can be accelerated.
Soromidayo George, director, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nigerian Bottling Company also reinforced the vision of the System in advancing solutions that address waste management across the country.
She stated that it is imperative to sort recyclables like PET from other household waste and take them to the recycling banks, since recycling PET can help reduce the annual volume of plastics entering our oceans by 80 percent, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and help generate income and create jobs thereby contributing to the economic development of Nigeria.
Present at the exercise were the acting managing director, of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Kunle Adebiyi; General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dolapo Fasewe represented by Kayode Bello; Arese Onaghise, Executive Secretary, Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance; and Victoria Uwadoka, Head of Corporate Communications, Nestle Nigeria, alongside representatives of SWEEP Foundation, FABE Foundation, Nigeria Climate Innovation Center (NCIC), Growing Businesses Foundation (GBF), Sterling One Foundation and other volunteers.
With over 330 volunteers and an estimated 340 kilogram of waste recovered at the conclusion of the exercise, Coca-Cola reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability, taking its responsibilities seriously and proactively seeking innovative solutions to create a more resilient and environmentally conscious future.