Through its Empowering Collectors Initiative, the Coca-Cola Foundation has provided a grant to Growing Business Foundation (GBF) to boost the plastic waste management value chain (ECI).
The ECI was created to enhance Nigeria’s severely unorganized plastic trash collection, gathering, and recycling system. Alfred Olajide, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria, recently revealed this during the launch of the project in Gbagada, Lagos.
GBF was created 21 years ago with the purpose of combating poverty and promoting a sustainable and wholesome existence among Nigeria’s poorest people through meaningful development ventures. The Commonwealth of Nations Initiative counts GBF as a member.
The program, which is expected to last around 24 months, aims to improve environmental resilience by limiting the flow of plastic trash, particularly PET, into waterways and landfills through an aggressive and well-organized system that targets roughly 25,000 MT of waste.
Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability, represented Olajide at the event.
Saadia Madsbjerg, President of The Coca-Cola Foundation, said the initiative aimed to create an economic ecosystem that would not only support environmentally beneficial actions, but also provide women with skills and training in the waste management value chain, allowing them to achieve economic empowerment and improving the quality of life for their families.
“Our objective is to continue to support the empowerment of women in as many communities as we can,” Madsbjerg said. “We will provide them with the essential information to strengthen their potential to generate income in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way.”
Ndidi Nnoli-Edozie, the founder of the Growing Business Foundation, expressed her joy at the Foundation’s support for the program, stating it has the potential to touch every element of the value chain.
“We are passionate about uplifting and strengthening communities because we feel that by doing so, we can make a difference in the country’s poverty issue,” she stated. We expect ECI to have a big impact on the economically disadvantaged, assist in the promotion of a circular economy, and ultimately lower the cost of doing business.”
The program’s ultimate goal, according to her, is to promote and accelerate the developing opportunity spectrum of the bottle-to-bottle recycling value chain in the country, which is still in its infancy.
In addition, the program would empower 3000 female collectors and micro aggregators across six Nigerian states, which represent significant hubs where increased urban migration and economic activity, combined with a deficient waste management system, has aggravated the country’s waste problems.