Over 100,000 plastic bottles have been taken away from Lagos shorelines by Rite Foods Limited through its sponsored riteonthebeach initiative aimed at cleaning the country’s beaches.
Launched in August 2021 by Rite Foods’ Managing Director, Mr Seleem Adegunwa, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project went live in the Lagos beach communities in January 2022 with a success story.
This campaign by the market leader in Nigeria’s food and beverage industry is geared towards promoting environmental conservation.
To date, the communities have removed over 100,000 bottles from their beaches, with school children taking the responsibility of dropping off twenty-two bottles or 1kg of plastics before school each day.
Through the beach cleaning initiative, 74 scholarships and over 20 jobs have been created from the collection and recycling process, spearheaded by the Founder of Popbeachclub, Mr Akin Disu, the convener of Riteonthebeach, with its festival held in November 2022.
The academic festival sensitises the public on the effects of climate change and plastic pollution on the environment centred in the remote Lagos fishing communities of Ilashe, Ibeshe, and Ikaare.
In partnership with Disu, Riteonthebeach created the Plastic Neutral Token, a community-driven social enterprise system that encourages members of the public to take responsibility for the plastic waste they produce, as the average human being uses 84 kilograms of plastic yearly.
By members of the public buying a plastic-neutral token, the scheme will remove 84kgs of plastic from the ocean, thereby making it plastic-neutral and eco-friendly.
The plastic waste is processed and sent to the city for recycling, with the entire process verified by a third party and tracked on its transparent online platform. They achieved this by engaging the communities of these remote coastal fishing villages, rewarding the children with scholarships, while the women and youth were provided with jobs. This is to save the fishing ecosystem under threat from extensive ocean waste from the city.
The fishing communities serve a crucial role in Lagos state’s economy, providing fish and tourism services for the city of Lagos. These coastal communities on the Lagos western peninsular are separated from the city by the Owo river basin watershed, with the residents under a constant deluge of plastic waste transported by the ocean to their doorsteps.
Interestingly, the Riteonthebeach is committed to creating 300 scholarships in two years, in partnership with the coastal communities removing one metric ton of plastic per week, thereby attaining sustainability.