The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged bottling companies in Nigeria to engage in Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) by taking responsibility for the plastic waste they produce.
The call was made at a ‘Return-To-Sender Action’, an extended action of Brand Audit Exercise organised by ERA/FoEN and other environment-focused groups in four markets recently in Benin City.
The exercise was targeted at determining the highest polluting brands. According to the groups, the Nigerian Bottling Company and Seven-Up Bottling Company came up with the highest numbers of plastic waste products, with a frequency rate of 33 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively.
Speaking during the exercise, the Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Chima Williams, represented by Babawale Obayanju, stated that the flooding experienced in Benin City and its environs is aggravated by the plastic waste materials that have found their way to the drainage systems and waterways.
He added that statistics clearly show that the identified companies’ products were contributing heavily to the plastic waste menace in Benin without appropriate recycling systems in place.
The exercise which was carried out in collaboration with Zero Waste Ambassadors (ZEWA), Edo Civil Society Organisation (EdoCSO) and Students Environmental Assembly of Nigeria (SEAN), University of Benin Chapter, involved the collection of discarded plastic bottles which were returned to Coca-Cola and Seven-Up facilities in Benin City.