In a bid to promote a healthy environment and creating job opportunities for Nigerian youth, Ecobank Nigeria has commenced a campaign to take away 4,000,000 used bottles from Lagos State.
The campaign which was officially launched at the Lagos State Sewage Treatment Plant, was in partnership with Alkem Nigerian Limited; a recycling company based in Lagos State and the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), was aimed at creating wealth for Nigerian youth and achieve some key components of the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals through waste recycling and management.
Speaking at the event, the MD/CEO Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan said: “Ecobank is a brand that is committed to sustaining the environment for all. Its 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.
“For us across the Ecobank Group, there is only one award available when we meet at the AGM of the Group; it is called the Ecobank Group Chairman Sustainability award. That is to demonstrate that what we are doing here is in direct consonant with Ecobank across Africa.
“For us in Nigeria we particular chose plastic bottle recycling because, given a population of 200 million people, the arrival rate of plastic through various means such as water, minerals, petrochemical, is alarming.”
He further added: “For thousands of years, these plastics maintain form and won’t break down. But even for us in Nigeria and particularly in Lagos State, we have plastics blocking the gutter, we have plastics being burnt in a manner that causes pollution; even taking the space in most houses and shops.
“And we felt at Ecobank that how can we help or contribute to solving and improving this environmental health situation.
“We have a lot of aquatic resources. We have the Lagoon, Ocean; and all those, we see plastics being dumped in them. And we have fishes and other aquatic animals actually injecting these plastics. And we end up buying those fishes for consumption when with ignorance that they are already contaminated from our carelessness to the environment.
“And this causes a lot of health hazard. This is why we decided to work with Lagos State waste management authority, Lagos State Waterways Authority, friendly institutions like Alkem, the Soroptimist, and each of you who are community leaders, the CDA chairmen, market women, market men, and students.”