Ecobank Nigeria has announced the successful removal of over two million plastic bottles in exchange for cash from the street of Lagos. The campaign which started in May targets to remove at least 4 million bottles from the environment being part of the bank's environmental sustainability campaign. Ecobank had in May informed Lagos residence to exchange plastic bottles for cash at designated location across the state.
Commenting on the initiative and success achieved so far, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan stated that Ecobank is committed to support the sustenance of the environment by assisting in the removal of all non-biodegradable elements as part of the universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
"So far we have succeeded in removing over two million bottles from the streets of Lagos. We hope to get to the 4 million target 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 use this opportunity to renew the call on 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." He stated.
Further, Mr Akinwuntan reiterated that "the initiative was part of a deliberate policy of the bank to support environmental sustainability for all. Our sustainability activities are part of the universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The idea for this is to support the removal of non-biodegradable materials from the environment to support healthy and safe living".
Also speaking, Biyi Olagbami, Executive Director and Chief Risk Officer of Ecobank Nigeria, who is also the coordinator of the "Cash for Plastic" initiative reiterated that Ecobank is optimistic that the projects would go a long way to improving the life of residents by supporting the removal of plastic that usually clog the water channels and cause flooding part of Lagos. "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" he stated.
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 incentivized with N30 for every kilogram plastic bottle picked.