How Nestlé Nigeria is Creating a Sustainable World with Waste
By Azeez Disu
Climate change, environmental pollution, food insecurity, and others continue to have devastating effects on the planet, people, and businesses.
Plastic, paper, or other materials are finding their way to landfills, waterways, gutters, rivers, or the oceans causing a lot of unimaginable havoc to living and non-living things.
Nigeria generates over 32 million tonnes of waste annually with plastic accounting for 2.5 million tonnes, according to a United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) report.
“There is a need for concerted action amongst all stakeholders whose businesses affect the environment in one way or another – this includes regulators, government, civil society, financers, the private sector, and all others,” Executive Vice Chairman, Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera said at a forum recently.
In line with this concern, Nestlé Nigeria has been one of the companies contributing to the reduction of waste in the food and beverage industry in the country through various initiatives.
Recycling of Plastics
It has reduced the amount of plastic in its 0.6 liter and 1.5Litre bottles by over 15% which makes its plastics eco-friendly.
It is also partnering with waste recycling companies like Weclyclers to ensure that plastics are disposed of properly.
According to Kayode Adewale, Nestle’s Packaging Manager, one of the ways Nestle ensures the preservation of the environment is its plastic neutrality. He said the company remains committed to designing plastic packaging for recycling and reuseables and reducing plastic use to paper because the ecosystem is a little more mature for paper than plastic which is why it changed the Milo and Nescafe Ready-to-drink (RTD) straw from plastic to paper.
Also, commenting on the company’s plastic neutrality target, Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications, and Public Affairs Manager at Nestle said the company has set a minimum of 80% target by 2025, and already it has attained the 45% mark.
“Our plastic neutrality target is to have a minimum of 80% by 2025, and for different types of plastic, we are at different percentages. In Nigeria, we have a good ecosystem for recycling pet bottles then we have a higher percentage for flexibles, a much lower percentage than that, for multilayer plastics more lower than that because these are the ecosystems that are relatively grown. Our challenge with it is, what do you do with it when you collect them? Who will use it after that?
“In the case of pet bottles, for example, we have partners who are already transforming and using it for different things, on average calculating all the plastics we are about 45%, with our target being 80% minimum by 2025.”
In Singapore for example, Nestlé has launched the world’s first free, mobile application for iPhone and Android devices to help people recycle waste packaging correctly
To fast-track the achievement of SDG 6 – water and sanitation for all, it is working with stakeholders and partners to increase access to clean, safe water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities (WASH) for individuals and families.
It has recycled water which can be used on farms and for other purposes. The aim is to help the planet save water. Experts have reported that the quantity of clean water is reducing in the ground.
Joy Abdullahi-Johnson, Marketing and Category Manager for Nestlé Waters Nigeria said “Water is the most critical natural resource for human survival, after air. It therefore needs to be managed in a way that is equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically beneficial. With the increasing pressure on our water resources, we all need to work together to preserve this vital resource we all depend on,” she explained.
Remarkably, the company provides about 14m litres of potable water to host communities annually.
It embarks on public education and awareness campaigns to end the indiscriminate disposal of plastics and it also takes the campaigns to school children as well.
Under its Nestlé for Healthier Kids initiative, a school-based nutrition education program it has reached over 8,000 children annually with information on healthy hydration and water conservation.
Esther Samuel, a primary 5 pupil of Salvation Army School 1 Agbara, who visited the company’s Agbara factory with her teachers and other pupils said, “I am very happy to be part of this event. I really enjoyed the tour of the factory. I have learnt a lot about how to use and conserve water, and not waste it. I am ready to practice what I have been taught at home and I will definitely teach my siblings and friends all I have learnt. I want to thank Nestlé and my school for giving me this interesting experience”.
It is important to state that brands in the country across sectors should continue to address environmental sustainability issues in the interest of not just protecting the planet but to ensuring the sustainability of their business.