Used packs and PET bottles contribute hugely to mountainous solid wastes that deface Nigerian cities, raising health and environmental concerns. Waste disposal habit of the people militate against effective waste management to attain sustainable development in Nigeria as a whole. To an average Lagos resident, refuse and domestic waste do not constitute any strange sight as streets are littered with tons of garbage.
Though efforts are being made by government and private sector operators who visit homes to collect and dispose refuse, yet inadequate education and enlightenment still bedevil waste management, especially from homes.
In a strategic move to lay a solid foundation for a sustainable programme on waste management, as well as encourage children to start early to participate in activities that would ensure an improved and protected environment adequate for health and well being, Ribena, the premium fruit drink from the stable of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Plc (GSK) is partnering with Tetra Pak, a world leader in food processing and packaging, on a campaign tagged "Drink it, Flatten it and Bin it" campaign to make life better. Ribena /Tetra Pak campaign is a school-based recycling contest requiring collection of used Tetra Pak cartons of Ribena for the production of furniture for school children in less privileged communities in Lagos State.
Expressing the thoughts behind the Ribena/Tetra Pak "Drink it, Flatten it and Bin it" campaign at the press conference held recently at GSK corporate head office , Ribena Brand Manager, Mr. Olawale Akanbi said "we believe that it is our duty as a corporate organisation to continually reinforce attitudes that will help enhance our society and preserve our environment. We are all responsible for our collective future and as a brand that is focused on improving the quality of human life, we see the need to work with the young ones with the hope to help them imbibe the right attitude towards our environment".
Tetra Pak West Africa Communications Manager, Chidilim Menakaya said, "True to our motto, 'Protects What's Good', Tetra Pak's commitment to consumers, customers and all stakeholders goes beyond protecting the contents in a Tetra Pak carton, but also actively promoting initiatives that encourage environmental awareness and sustainability. We are always excited to partner with organisations around the globe who share our belief and commitment. I must say that we have found in Ribena, a worthy partner in driving awareness about the benefits of recycling Tetra Pak cartons and how they are 'Good for Kids' by providing good nutrition from the Ribena drink loved by all kids and how they are 'Good for the Earth' by being recyclable."
She reiterated the fact that kids can play a role in protecting the environment. Every time they pick up a pack of Ribena, they have the opportunity to create a greener tomorrow. As they are made primarily from renewable resources, Tetra Pak cartons can be recycled into benches, chairs, books, roofing sheets and much more, after you drink, flatten and bin them. "It is our sincere hope that the participants will through this programme learn enduring lessons about how to relate with the environment and on the long run play their part in helping to protect what is good--our environment."
According to Akanbi, the Ribena/Tetra Pak "Drink it, Flatten it and Bin it" adapts a very simple style that is captured by the title of the campaign which is couched from the process involved - drink and empty the Ribena carton pack, flatten it irrespective of the pack size and then bin it in the special branded Ribena bins that have been stationed in each participating school.
A combination of volunteers from GSK -makers of Ribena and Tetra Pak went on an awareness campaign in all the schools over a period of about six weeks to educate the children and ensure that they understand exactly what the campaign is all about.
Schools in Dustbin Estate in Ajegunle have been designated as the beneficiary of the project as the Ribena - Tetra Pak project will be donating schools furniture produced from the recycled used cartons to the school. Ribena/Tetra Pak "Drink it, Flatten it and Bin it" campaign will be working together with recyclers to ensure that the used Tetra Pak cartons gathered by each school are moved regularly to the recycling site to avoid littering of the school.
It was further revealed that the Ribena/Tetra Pak "Drink it, Flatten it and Bin it" campaign has already kicked off in 20 schools in Lagos State, among which are Tender Stars School, Corona School, Fasta International School, Mind Builders School, Dansol School, Trinity School, Airforce Primary School, Little Saints Montessori School, Primerose School and Chrisland Schools. Other Schools that are participating in the Ribena - Tetra Pak recycling project are Green Springs School, Vicsum Schools, Sunny Side School, Little Rock School, Tender Cradle Schools, Lesorond School, Kingdom Heritage School, Tripple Cross School and Tomobid School.
The Ribena/Tetra Pak "Drink it, Flatten it and Bin it" Campaign is designed with a two-level contest that allows for inter-schools completion as well as intre-school competition. At the inter-school level, all the twenty schools that are participating in the project collect as much of used Ribena cartons as possible. While at the intra-school level, each school is to divide the students into art and craft groups that will work together with the assistance of their teachers to creatively recycle some of the cartons by converting them into pieces of artwork.