Greener environment battle by bottled drinks manufacturers shifts to recycling

 SODA drink manufacturers have resorted to positioning their products based on their initiatives towards combating climate change by means of water conservation, water recycling, Polyethylene Teraphthalate, PET, crown corks and cans recycling.

In a bid to become environmentally-friendly, the manufacturers use  low carbon monoxide and sound proof electricity plants and heavy solar power systems for production. This is driven by need to avoid government clampdown,  as well as attract patronage of climate change- conscious  consumers who now prefer to  buy environmentally friendly products.

Furthermore, the companies have deployed pickers and collection centres to gather empty PET bottles, crown corks and cans which they recycle for use in order to help reduce environmental hazard. Findings by Vanguard Companies and Market, C&M revealed that the recycling of PET bottles, cans and crown corks, is being driven by multinational companies operating under an umbrella body called Nigerian Beverage Alliance.

The soda manufacturers competing for top spots on consumers’ eco-friendly list include Nigerian Bottling Company, NBC, bottlers for Coca-Cola brand and other soft drinks; Ajeast Nigeria Limited, producers of Big Cola and other brands; Rite Foods Limited, manufacturers of Bigi and others; LaCasera Nigeria Limited, producers of LaCasera and others; SevenUp Bottling Company, SBC, owners of other brands and Pepsi bottled under franchise from PepsiCo of United States; Nestle Nigeria Plc, manufacturers of Milo; and Guinness Nigeria Plc, manufacturers of Guinness stout and other brands.

Companies speak

The Director, Corporate Communications, NBC, Sade Morgan said: “Under our Safe West Africa, SWA, Project, three water facilities were established by NBC and they include, SWA Nigeria WaterHealth Centre-Badagry, SWA Nigeria WaterHealth Centre- Alimosho and SWA Nigeria WaterHealth Centre- Ilogbo, Abeokuta South LGA of Ogun State. ”In the last five years, we have carried out water projects in the following communities;  Gboko and Mbaikya communities in Benue State in 2014, free treated water plants in host communities for Enugu, Benin and Owerri, Irete Youth Centre Borehole Irete, Owerri in 2016; Renovation of Ivbiotor Borehole – Benin City, 2013. Others include; Elepa Ilorin-borehole in Kwara State, Alayabiagba Community Ajegunle,Lagos State,  Osengere community,  Asejire in Oyo State, Ihuike Ahoada Borehole, Rivers State, among others.

Speaking, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager,Nestle Nigeria Plc, Victoria Uwadoka said: “At Nestle, we are dedicated to enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future for individuals and families. We are committed to improving livelihoods in our communities and to protecting the environment for future generations.” On used water replacement, she stated: “Nestlé is aware that access to water is important for the people within its communities, and this is why its sustainability focus is on provision of access to clean, safe drinking water. In line with this, Nestlé has established three drinking water facilities around Agbara, Ogun State and Abaji in the FCT, to provide access to clean drinking water (The same source of water that goes into producing the Nestlé Pure Life, is what goes into the communities) to 5,800 people in the communities closest to our factories. We provide 7,117,500 litres annually. We have also provided boreholes in other communities in Ogun State including Sagamu and Agbara.

Mr. Clem Ugorji, Secretary, Nigerian Beverage Alliance, said these companies are competing fiercely for market shares, but they are also working together behind the scenes to drive the recycling economy. ”We do not want to be part of the problem of waste littering our streets and canals, instead we want to be part of the success story. We ensure that litters from our products do not constitute hazards to the business, the environment and the economy,” he said. According to him, across Nigeria’s cities and villages, as in many other developing countries, solid waste, including PET bottles and other non-biodegradable materials, end up at dumpsites and landfills, often clogging drains and waterways, contributing to health and environmental hazards.

Experts speak

The Executive Director, CSR in Action, Bekeme Masade said: “The motives for participating in CSR vary and depend on the company’s philosophy. A company’s CSR philosophy can be compliance-driven, profit-driven, driven by caring/giving, synergetic or holistic.

Chief Operating Officer of Lagos State Water Corporation, Engineer Deji Johnson, stressed the need for Nigerians as well as corporate organisations to show concern in the manner in which water is used. He said: “We need to show that our water usage is in line with the need to make it sustainable. Let us understand that water is not an infinite product. We have a part to play in water sustainability. The sustainability of water for us, depends on the actions we take.”

Mr. Kayode Ogunbiyi, Managing Director of Resource Renewables,said it was high time producers of wastes took responsibility for recycling. He, however, urged government to come up wth laws to regulate the industry through the National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency, NESREA, as in Europe and the USA.

Author: Princewill Ekwujuru

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