By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The Coca-Cola System in Nigeria, comprising Coca-Cola Nigeria, CHI Limited, and the Nigerian Bottling Company, has reiterated its commitment to promoting sustainable ecosystems and ocean preservation through its Annual System Beach Clean-up exercise in furtherance of its World Without Waste vision.
With over 330 volunteers and an estimated 340kg of waste recovered at the conclusion of the exercise, a statement by the organisation stated that Coca-Cola remains deeply committed to sustainability, taking its responsibilities seriously and proactively seeking innovative solutions to create a more resilient and environmentally conscious future.
According to the statement, Coca-Cola in partnership with the Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), the total beverage company hosted residents of Elegushi Beach, Lagos, and its partners to yet another impactful exercise on Friday, June 16, 2023.
The exercise, led by the Founder of the Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), Doyinsola Ogunye, 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, the Managing Director, CHI Limited, Eelco Weber said, for The Coca-Cola System in Nigeria, sustainability remains at the very core of all of their 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 we sell by 2030. We are a socially responsible company, and we continue to lead the charge in Nigeria and globally by continuing to do what’s right for our planet, our communities, and our System”.
Director of Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, in 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% of all beverages globally across our portfolio of brands sold in refillable/returnable glass or plastic bottles or in refillable containers.
She added that “Ultimately, we recognize that we can’t achieve our goals alone. Addressing plastic waste and recycling challenges requires industry, public sector, and civil society collaboration. 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), we can help accelerate the impact”.
Director, of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nigerian Bottling Company, Soromidayo George, 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%, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% and help generate income and create jobs thereby contributing to the economic development of Nigeria.
Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited is a total beverage company, offering one of the world’s most valuable brands, Coca-Cola, with a variety of beverage brands including Fanta, Sprite, 5Alive juices, Eva water, Schweppes, and Limca.
We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market, the statement added
“We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting packaging recycling across our value chain. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 5,000 people with over 700,000 distribution partners helping bring economic opportunity to local communities. Learn more at the Coca-Cola Nigeria website at www.coca-cola.com.ng and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn”
Present at the exercise were the Acting Managing Director, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Kunle Adebiyi; General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dr. Dolapo Fasewe represented by Mr. 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.