Ecobank Nigeria, Lagos public sector partner to tackle plastic waste.
Plastic waste, a recurring environmental pollution issue, has again been brought to public consciousness with a mandate to rid Lagos streets and waters of four million plastic bottles this year.
This was the focus of Ecobank Nigeria Limited’s sustainability week in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos at the weekend.
Speaking at the event attended by Community Development Committee (CDC), Community Development Associations (CDAs), representatives of Soroptimist International of Nigeria and officials of the bank, Cluster Coordinator of Ecobank Sustainability Week, Christian Eneh, said the financial institution desires to create a healthier, cleaner environment for the good of all mankind.
“From 2017, the bank embarked on this journey with LASEPA and Ministry of the Environment to decongest Lagos and other cities of plastics, which are non-biodegradable materials that could last for ages.
“As a bank, we are not just interested in making money and doing business, but we want to create a healthier environment. In 2017, we started by decongesting and removing 150,000 plastics bottles. In 2018, we concentrated on the waterways and in this year 2019, we made a commitment to recycling four million plastic bottles.
“And to encourage involvement and participation in cleaning up the environment, we earmarked funds for young Nigerians to ensure that Lagos streets and waters are rid of plastic wastes,” he said.
Chairman of Amuwo Odofin CDC, Jola Ogunlusi, President of Soroptimist International of Nigeria, Bose Milan-Jack Adeshite and representative of LAWMA, who spoke at the event, supported the idea of a cleaner Lagos.
They stressed that since human survival actually depended on a clean, sustainable environment, there was the need to see waste as a resource and convert it to wealth in what they described as a secular economy.
Responding, Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan said the bank chose plastic bottles recycling because, with Nigeria’s 200 million population, plastic pollution has become a very key since it has been classified a hazardous waste.
“There are plastics everywhere. There are plastics in gutters, plastics being burnt and causing severe pollution. There are those on every space in the streets, water and those being taken in by fishes and other aquatic animals.
“Besides creating employment for our youths, Ecobank desires to use this initiative to demonstrate that we can use our creativity to improve our environment and society and disabuse our minds from the belief that everything good only comes from overseas.
“It is a journey and not a one-day event. And therefore, we will continue to support this initiative to have a better quality of environment and livelihood in Lagos and Nigeria,” he stated.