The Coca-Cola System in Kenya is embarking on a transformational journey involving secondary school students who are being educated on the importance of a cleaner environment by taking care of plastics disposal.
The national initiative will involve 2,000 out of the 5,400 participating schools in COPA Coca-Cola tournament whose students will be educated on the importance of recycling for a litter-free environment. The schools were selected based on the reach of the current recyclers and collectors.
The programme is part of the company’s wider commitment to impact behavioural change in relation to plastic disposal. Kenya is among fourteen Southern, East and Central Africa countries earmarked to kick start the project, set up to stimulate plastic recycling industries and create awareness of plastic waste pollution.
The company has committed to fully address the plastic waste challenge, in line with its World Without Waste vision, which aims at collecting and recycling an equivalent of 100% of the packaging it sells by 2030. The event was graced by the director, field coordination of co-curricular activities, ministry of education, Dr. Pius Mutisya on behalf of the principal secretary of education, Dr. Belio Kipsang.
Speaking during the launch, Evanson Ndungu, Coca-Cola marketing manager-Kenya said: “Sports is an integral part of the wellbeing of the youth. It improves their physical and emotional aspects while also enabling their holistic development. The behavioural change campaign will go a long way in ensuring that they grow to be responsible members of the community.”
He added: “Football unites all regardless of age and gender. This year will be special as the popular sport will also contribute to a greater cause of protecting our environment.”
Special bins will be set up in the participating schools where plastic bottles will be collected. The initiative will also involve community members surrounding these schools. The winning schools will be determined by achieving the highest number of kilos over the tournament period which runs from May to July 2019.
They will be awarded with a refurbished football pitch which will have a standardized playing ground, goal posts, nets and score board, while the students will be supplied with soccer bibs. The second best schools will receive goal posts, nets, corner flags, score boards and player bibs. Finally, the third best school will be given soccer balls and jerseys.
At the end of the programme, the schools will be given cash for developing extra-curricular activities. The company is partnering with Mr. Green Africa in collecting plastics across the country. They will be delivered to T3 recycling firm, that will in turn convert them into textile for making tee shirts and other materials.