By Cynthia Alo
ECOBANK Nigeria, yesterday, announced the successful removal of over two million plastic bottles in exchange for cash from the streets of Lagos.
The campaign, which started in May this year, is targeted at removing at least four million bottles from the environment as part of the bank’s environmental sustainability agenda.
Speaking on the initiative, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, said: “So far, we have succeeded in removing over two million bottles from the streets of Lagos. We hope to get to the four million targets we set for ourselves within the next few months. We are grateful to our partners who have been consistent in their push to achieve this target.
‘‘I want to use this opportunity to urge residents to take their used plastics to the Lagos sewage treatment plant in Amuwo Odofin and get cash instantly.
‘‘Plastic waste is seriously affecting our food, oceans, harming marine life and threatening our food chain. As a responsible corporate organisation, we will do all it takes to check the trend to ensure a safer living environment.”
Also speaking, Executive Director and Chief Risk Officer of Ecobank Nigeria, Biyi Olagbami, who is also the coordinator of the Cash for Plastic Initiative said: “We appreciate the response we are getting from residents and we hope to sustain this effort in assisting to clean our environment.
“We may extend this initiative to other major cities in Nigeria in the future.”
The plastic waste for cash initiative is being implemented in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Alkem Nigeria Ltd.
It is aimed at improving the environmental sustainability and community health development in Lagos by rewarding residents for every plastic bottle picked from the street.
The collectors are incentivised with N30 for every kilogram plastic bottle picked.