NIGERIA – The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded a grant to Growing Business Foundation (GBF), a Non-profit organization in Nigeria, to strengthen the plastic waste management value chain through its Empowering Collectors Initiative (ECI).
GBF, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations Initiative, was founded 21 years ago with a mission to combat poverty and promote sustainable and wholesome existence through meaningful development enterprises among the poorest people in Nigeria.
It designed the ECI mainly to improve the largely informal plastic waste collection, aggregation and recycling process in the West African country.
Under the new partnership with the leading soft beverage maker, the parties are set to run the programme for about 24 months.
It aims to enhance environmental resilience by preventing the flow of plastic waste, especially PET, to waterways and landfills through an aggressive and organised system that targets about 25,000 MT of waste, reports the Guardian.
President of The Coca-Cola Foundation, Saadia Madsbjerg, highlighted that the initiative was aimed at creating an economic ecosystem that would not only support environmentally beneficial actions but would also provide women with skills and training in the waste management value chain – enabling their economic empowerment and in turn improving quality of life for their families.
Madsbjerg said, “Our commitment is to continue to enable the empowerment of women in as many communities as we can, providing them with the necessary knowledge required to improve their capacity to generate wealth in a more sustainable way and with a positive impact on our environment.”
In her contribution, Founder, Growing Business Foundation, Ndidi Nnoli-Edozie, expressed delight at the support from Foundation for the initiative, saying it has the capacity to impact every aspect of the value chain.
She said: “We are passionate about uplifting and empowering communities as we believe that we can make a difference in the poverty situation across the country.
“With ECI, we are set to significantly impact the economically vulnerable, help in promoting a circular economy, and ultimately drive down the cost of doing business.”
According to her, the ultimate objective of the program is to support and accelerate the growing opportunity spectrum of the bottle-to-bottle recycling value chain, which is still nascent in the Country.
The initiative will also empower 3000 female collectors and micro aggregators across six states of Nigeria, representing key hubs where increased urban migration and economic activity coupled with a poor waste management system has exacerbated the waste concerns in the country.