The Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) - a coalition comprising Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd., Nigerian Bottling Company, Nestle Nigeria PLC, Seven Up Bottling company and Nigerian Breweries Plc, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Transportation, to rid the state's waterways of plastic and packaging waste.
The pact is a three-year partnership between Lagos State and the FBRA to clean-up and prevent waste pollution from plastics and other food and beverage packaging, on Lagos State's inland waterways.
The programme according to the group, will focus on evacuation for recycling of packaging waste collected from the four inland waterways - Five-cowrie Creek to Lekki; Marina through Elegbata and Osborne to Oworonshoki, waterways from Apapa through Kirikiri, Mile 2, Festac to Oke-Afa, and the Ikorodu Axis, which covers Ipakodo, Ibeshe, Baiyeku, Ijede and Badore.
While the FBRA will provide funding for equipment, gears and personnel training, the Lagos State government will be responsible for structural civil works, managing execution, personnel, waste sorting centres and enforcement. FBRA and Lagos State government will jointly fund public awareness campaigns and advocacy on appropriate packaging waste disposal systems.
The Chairman of the FBRA, Mrs Sade Morgan said: "Today's announcement is the culmination of months of positive collaboration between the FBRA steering committee and the Lagos State Government. Tackling one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today requires a collective approach, and as leaders in the industry, we understand the responsibility that we all have, to lead the way for the good of the environment, our communities and ourselves.
"This announcement is just one step in the initial phase of a long-term commitment to effective plastic waste management. We are committed to tackling one of the biggest issues threatening the sustainability of our planet and are excited about the positive impact this will have on our industry, and the nation at large."
The Commissioner for Transportation in Lagos State, Ladi Lawanson said, "We are truly encouraged when the private sector proactively takes responsibility for the environment. Packaging is vital to assuring the safety and effectiveness of food and beverages, as well as products from other industries, from pharmaceuticals to personal care and beyond. However, pollution especially plastics poses considerable challenges to the sustainability of our environment.
"The Government has already made considerable headway in our clean-up efforts since 2016 and have seen the dividends of this. With this industry and government collaboration, we expect to see deeper impact that will benefit Lagos as a whole, as we boost water transportation and positively scale up activities on our waterways. I assure you that my colleague at the Ministry of Environment is equally pleased. Together, we look forward to working with the FBRA and other stakeholders for a cleaner environment and an effective water transportation system."
Efforts by the FBRA and its steering committee has so far recorded recycling of almost 1 billion bottles into fiber; over 1,800 direct employment on an average income of $6 per day (3 times the national average); as well as the creation of synthetic fiber for local industries and export.