By Josephine Agbonkhese
The Coca-Cola Foundation, TCCF, has awarded a grant of $85,000 to a non-governmental organisation, Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative, AREAi.
According to the Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, the grant will be used to curb plastic pollution in six states across the federation, through recovery and repurposing of 600 tons of PET Bottles in 12 months.
Speaking to Vanguard, Gideon Olanrewaju, Founder, AREAi, said beneficiaries of the project will include over 60 communities in the Federal Capital Territory, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Kwara and Oyo states, where periodic recycling activities will take place and over 300 women will be recruited as waste pickers and sorters.
“These female waste collectors will be trained on financial literacy and environmental safety practices, equipped with Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, and empowered through a trash-for-cash recovery scheme.
“Recycling stations would be instituted across these states, with public recycling bins also distributed to strategic locations to drive effective recycling processes and activities in the various communities,” he explained.
Reiterating Coca-Cola’s commitment towards addressing the issue of plastic pollution, Onyemelukwe said: “Coca-Cola remains committed to addressing the issue of plastic pollution across the world. Our vision for a World Without Waste focuses on recycling and behavioural-change initiatives.
“We believe projects such as the Mission Zero Plastic by Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative are an effective means of working together to create shared value and deliver real change.”