NIGERIA – Coca-Cola, through its philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) has provided a grant to the Initiative for The Advancement of Waste Management in Africa (W.A.S.T.E Africa), to promote waste recycling in Nigeria.

WASTE is a non-governmental organisation whose mission is to increase awareness of waste challenges and solutions through the Cash 4 Trash initiative, which targets vulnerable women and youths.

The funding will be utilized to build solar-powered recycling hubs across Abuja and Lagos, where the residents will be encouraged to adopt the habit of recycling and turn their waste into wealth.

Speaking on the NGO’s objectives with the recycling hubs, Olufunto Boroffice, Convener of W.A.S.T.E Arica said, “Adequate financing for collection and disposal of plastic waste is one of the biggest issues impacting recycling in Nigeria.

“I am thankful to The Coca-Cola Foundation for providing the funds to expand our operations, enabling us to create eight green recycling hubs, empowering over 3,000 waste pickers and women, many of whom are living in indecent homes with little or no educational backgrounds”.

Beneficiaries of The Coca-Cola Foundation funding to W.A.S.T.E Africa will include over 1,600 women who will be recruited as waste pickers and sorters in these communities.

For these women, knowledge about waste separation and sorting of recyclable material will provide an economic lifeline especially in this period where millions of Nigerians are losing their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The women waste pickers will be provided with financial literacy, safety training and as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The NGO will also be launching the Bottles for Books initiative through which 800 out-of-school children will be enrolled in the educational system.

Nigeria generates over 32 million tons of solid waste annually, out of which an average of 20% is collected. Many cities in the country face serious plastic waste management challenges.

The Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, remarked, “Plastic pollution is a problem that our company is committed to solving. Our vision for a World Without Waste focuses on recycling and behavioural-change projects.

“We believe projects such as the Cash 4 Trash initiative by W.A.S.T.E Africa are an effective means of working together to create shared value and deliver real change.”

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