CAFON calls for Partners together to reduce the use of plastic

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Plastic pollution is regarded as the accumulation of plastic objects and particles such as plastic bottles, bags and microbeads in the Earth’s environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans.

L-R: Ayo Oluwatosin, member, board of trustees, Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of (ACSPN); Ifeoma Okoye, sustainability and community affairs manager, Nigerian Bottling Company Plc; Sola Salako-Ajulo, president/founder, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON); Princewill Ekwujuru, chairman, Brand Journalists’ Association of Nigeria (BJAN); Bolaji Abimbola, MD/CEO, Integrated Indigo Communications Limited; Jennifer Uchendu, head, sustainability and regulatory relations, Nigerian Breweries Plc, and Chineze Amanfo, lead, public relations, 9Mobile, at the 2021 Brand Journalists’ Association of Nigeria (BJAN) world consumer rights day symposium in Lagos

 

 

Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Sola Salako-Ajulo, President/Founder, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON) said until we work together to reduce the use of plastic, the world would be “plasticized” in the near future.

CAFON Founder made the statement during the Brand Journalists’ Association of Nigeria (BJAN) its yearly World Consumer Right Day symposium which held on March 31, 2021, to talk on theme: Tackling Plastic Pollution: Challenges, Solutions And Benefits which is in tandem with the world consumer day theme; Tackle plastic pollution.

 

Salako-Ajulo added that human negligence is one of the reasons we experience plastic pollution as people lack proper ways of disposing waste materials especially dumping of plastic waste materials in water channels which go into the oceans and cause harms to lives in water

She however highlighted the 7 ‘R’s put in place by Consumers International as a way forward to minimize the effect of plastic pollution in our environment. The 7 R include rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, and replace of plastic material to fight against plastic pollution she added. According to her, people should be responsible and take responsibility in tackling the pollution problem and deliberately taking action.

 

Salako-Ajulo said consumers can help reduce the use of plastic by making use of paper bags instead of nylons or reuse the plastic materials instead of picking new ones to carry their groceries every time they visit the market.

On the discussion segment, Mr. Bolaji Abimbola, MD, Integrated Indigo Communication seek to know if plastic is a blessing or a curse in our society?.

In response, Ms. Chineze Amanfo, Lead, Public Relations, 9mobile said plastic has been a blessing in our generations because it made things easy though not with challenges but it’s proper to find a way to manage it so it doesn’t become a curse. While Ifeoma Okoye, Sustainability and Community Affairs Manager, Nigeria Bottling Company, affirmed that the plastic has helped the society but there is a need to find a sustainable way of using it.

Jenifer Uchendu who represented Mrs. Shade Morgan, Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries said Nigeria as a consumer of plastics materials don’t have data to track the amount of plastics companies are releasing into the society and this has made NBC to partner with a research company, KPMG to do thorough research on the amount of plastics the company released into the society. She disclosed that the Nigerian Breweries company in its commitment to reduce plastic pollution has changed some of its products bottles to transparent bottles for easy recycling as against coloured bottles which are not easily recyclable.

Also in responding, Mr. Ayo Oluwatosin, Member, Board of Trustee, Association of Communications Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN) said both the government and individuals have roles to play in tackling plastic pollution in the society and there is a need for advocacy event by media to let government and individual know what should be done in clear terms.

In his earlier welcome speech, the president of BJAN, Princewill Ekwujuru gave reason why the event to put together industry thought leaders to find a lasting solution to the rising plastics pollution in the society and ways to manage it.

Ekwujuru further disclosed that the event which was held both virtually and physically as a result of the Covid-19 challenges the world is facing which has prompted the reduction in large gatherings.

The World Consumer Rights Day is an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement. Participants observe the day by promoting the basic rights of all consumers, demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and protesting about the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them.


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