The Shoprite Group is staging Africa’s biggest clean-up at which over 6,000 people in nine countries are expected to participate in almost 500 events from July 14th to 18th to remove waste from communities. In Nigeria, the retail giant is partnering with Nigeria’s pioneer recycling outfit, Wecyclers to execute this huge initiative.
Head, Business Development of Wecyclers, Omobolanle Olowu, an environmentalist and recycling champion explains: “The hope is to launch a movement of active citizens who act for change by cleaning and keeping clean public areas. Plastic waste is putting the environment under considerable pressure with the equivalent of a garbage truck of plastic being dumped into our oceans every minute.”
She further adds, “Recycling is central to this initiative, hence Wecyclers’ decision to partner with Shoprite Nigeria on some of the 45 clean-ups planned in the country. Those organizing clean-ups are encouraged to partner with local recyclers to ensure that most of what is collected gets recycled.” With this focus, Shoprite aims to highlight the business opportunities available through the recycling of paper, glass, plastic and other material.
The retailer also launched a mobile community in which anybody can join via the website www.actforchange.africa. The site was developed in partnership with volunteerism organization Brownie Points. This digital platform enables users to create their own clean-ups or join an existing one in their area. It also contains information about the nearest recycler or waste management company.
On the platform, clean-up organizers are given guidelines on what their duties are as hosts, how to market their event and what to do on the day and after the cleanup. Participants are to share their experience on social media.
In the words of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan: “All of us have to share the earth’s fragile ecosystems and precious resources, and each of us has a role to play in preserving them. If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it.”