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Lagos moves to tackle plastic waste

The Lagos state government has partnered with some civil societies to rid Badagry of plastic wastes.

The partnership, through a sensitisation campaign, was initiated by the Green Janitors Sustainability Initiative and Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and also involves the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA).

The Pick-a-Plastic campaign, which will last for three months, commenced in December as part of efforts at reinforcing the Blue Box programme of Lagos State government aimed at ensuring a cleaner environment.

The initiative is aimed at educating Lagos communities on waste separation from source and rewards for collection of post-consumer packaging waste, especially plastics for recycling.

The programme saw representatives of the Lagos State governor, LAWMA, members of FBRA, recycling organisations and other stakeholders in the waste management industry in attendance.

During the one-week awareness drive in Badagry, the state government, in collaboration with FBRA, participated in the distribution of waste bags for the collection of recyclables (plastics, nylon, cans and glass wastes) and domestic waste.

Addressing Badagry residents during the kick-off of the campaign and rewards exercise, FBRA’s chairman, Sade Morgan, represented by a director of the alliance, Ekuma Eze from Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), emphasised the need for all to promote recycling at the community level in order to foster environmental sustainability and a cleaner environment.

He said the alliance was highly delighted in partnering with Green Janitors in its environmental conservation initiative which is in line with the state’s Blue Box programme.

“FBRA is committed to developing a sustainable recycling economy as the Badagry initiative is part of its ongoing campaign of engaging communities to promote recovery and enhance recycling through its buy-back and rewards scheme as a means of mopping up the post-consumer packing waste from the environment,” Eze stated.

He emphasised the need for all to take action on the plastic waste menace in the environment through collaborative efforts of various stakeholders.

FBRA has been embarking on community enlightenment campaigns through the rewards programme to reduce environmental pollution, create awareness for segregation at the source and encourage proper disposal of waste, especially plastics that have contributed to flooding in most areas. It is committed to doing more to enhance the recovery, collection and recycling of post-consumer packing waste from the environment.

FBRA’s activities are in compliance with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy of the federal government which transfers significant responsibility to producers for the entire lifecycle of their product, Eze said.

Commenting on the Pick-a-Plastic campaign, the Director of Research and Development at LASEPA. Adebodun Toplonu Sewanu said, “Imagine what would have happened if these plastic bottles were not mined through this initiative today?

“Our drains will have been clogged with the potential of flooding, the shorelines of surface water would have half of them, tourism will not thrive with plastic nuisance on shorelines, waterways will not be swimmable and navigable. So, this programme is ‘a win’ for me by improving waste management in the coastal area not only in Badagry but in Lagos as a state.”

The Executive Director, Green Janitors Sustainability Initiative, Ashade Abdulsalam, said it was quite encouraging as both old and young embraced the initiative with a sense of responsibility of keeping the environment free from food and beverage packaging waste, especially plastics.

Rewards were given to the individual with the most recovered volume of plastics during the event. The best participant was a little boy, Adebori King David, who picked 70kg of plastics, attesting to the wide acceptance of the programme.

It was followed by 60kg, collected by Dosa Medese, an adult street cleaner that works for LAWMA in Badagry and then 47kg of plastics gathered by a young woman, Balogun Christiana.

These winners got reward items to encourage them to keep the environment clean.

 

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