By Shaba Gbenga
One of the greatest contribution of Nestlé Nigeria PLC in achieving a sustainable environment is its commitment to eliminating pollution. In its quest to achieve this, Nestle implements sustainable practices such as the collection of waste materials, recycling, and reusing them such that none of its packaging material ends up in landfills.
To achieve this, Nestlé Nigeria PLC partnered with Lagos Business School (LBS) Sustainability Center, Wecyclers ( a body that allows people in low-income communities to capture value from their waste) and the Nigerian media practitioners.
The day was Wednesday June 8, 2022. After weeks of media training on a very important topic “Advancing Nutrition Health and Environmental Awareness Through the Media”, a programme that was facilitated by Lagos Business School (LBS) Sustainability Center, Nestlé, on this day took more than 100 media practitioners on a tour of Wecyclers Recycling Center, to educate and sensitise them on recycling activities. It was a climax to a programme that started on Monday 11th April and ended on Thursday 9th June 2022 with an experiential tour to WeCylers factory at Ebute Metta with a closing party and award of certificates at the Lagos Business School at Lekki, Ajah.
The programme that was initiated by Nestle Nigeria in 2019 and organised yearly in partnership with the Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre (LBSSC), so far has trained about 200 journalists in Advancing Nutrition Health and Environmental Awareness; on how to properly and effectively report their beats to raise awareness on the need for people to eat nutritious food for healthy living as well as preserve the environment.
In September 2019, Nestle signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Wecyclers to accelerate the process of recovering and recycling post-consumption plastic packaging waste in Lagos State while providing a reliable supply of raw material to the local recycling industry.
The agreement enables WeCyclers to extend plastics waste recovery systems to more communities through the establishment of collection points across different communities.
Explaining why the tour was memorable, Mrs Esther Chibueyin-Fagbo, Business Development Manager- Wecyclers, said the partnership with Nestle is helping to recover plastic waste from the environments. “At WeCyclers, we have franchise with Nestlé to help our collection of plastic pollution. This helps in reducing the rate of plastic pollution in the state.”
She added that, currently WeCyclers have 13 collection kiosks in different locations in Lagos in partnership with Nestle. They also have digital Apps to facilitate online transactions in waste carton, plastics, paper and cardboard with different payment categories. With the project also helping to create 40 direct jobs for collection point operators and sorters, and empower an additional 15,000 Wecycler subscribers.
One of the ambitions of Nestle is to strive for zero environmental impact in our society as they strive towards a waste free future and a key part of achieving this goal is to make 100% of their packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025. Another important element is the vision that none of their product packaging, including plastics, should end up in landfills or as litter in our environment, in our seas, oceans and waterways.
Because tackling plastic pollution is an urgent priority which requires multisector collaboration, so the MoU with Wecyclers is a step towards achieving the shared objectives of a waste-free future and building thriving communities. Having journalists as partners; sponsoring their training in the coverage of Nestlé activities as it concerns environmental sustainability is a right move in a right direction.
During the training/media tour at Wecyclers factory at Ebute Metta, about 6 sorters, 3 cycles and others were seen working at the factory. These workers were not part of those who are not involved in direct labour.