AWARENESS WALK - GLOBAL RECYCLING DAY 2020
Date: Wednesday 18th March, 2020.
Number of Participants: 118+
Number of organisations engaged: 14+
Number of community dwellers enlightened: 65+
Location: Surulere community in Lagos Nigeria.
Time spent: >5 hours.
Distance covered: 5.4km
According to the World Bank “What a Waste” report, the Sub-Saharan Africa region generates a significant amount of solid waste and unfortunately, this amount is expected to rise at a higher rate compared to any other region– given the rate of urbanisation and population growth in the coming decades. So the big question is: What happens to this waste ?
Poorly managed waste is polluting the world’s oceans, clogging drains and causing flooding. Not just that- diseases are being transmitted via breeding vectors and marine animals that unknowingly consume this waste. Again, the indiscriminate burning of waste is engaged in which, in turn, creates a ripple effect: a spike in respiratory-related problems and an increased release of greenhouse gases, leading to uncontrollable fires across the globe.
The aim of Global Recycling Day (which is annually celebrated on the 18th of March), is to unite the world’s approach to recycling. Organised by the Global Recycling Foundation, it aims to recognize and celebrate the importance recycling plays in preserving our primary resources and securing the future.
On this day, the world comes together and puts the planet first. By combining as many voices and efforts as possible on a single day, the objective is clear: to drive awareness and to push the urgent need to recycle more effectively around the world.
The mission of Global Recycling Day is threefold:
- To raise global awareness about the urgency to stop dumping waste and landfilling untreated waste.
To unite the world’s approach to recycling, from world leaders to businesses, communities to individuals.
To encourage the world to think resource not waste, and to celebrate the planet’s Seventh Resource: recyclables
U-recycle Initiative, on the 18th of March 2020, joined countries around the world to commemorate Global Recycling Day.
The purpose of the event was to tackle the menace of poor waste management, through effective sensitization of the society about the importance of recycling and its potential benefits to our world whilst enlightening people about opportunities from which they can harness value from waste through recycling.
In Global Recycling Day 2020, we were quite meticulous in choosing specific activities that would result in the desired goal: spurring Nigerians to begin recycling at home and workplaces. Our target audiences for the awareness walk were traders, passers-by on the streets of Lagos and customers at a Shopping Mall.
From community sensitization through our ’Let’s Recycle More Awareness Walk’ to launching our ‘Bring Your Own Bag Campaign’ at a Shopping Mall, we contributed our quota towards achieving the objectives of the Global Recycling Day. Again, via a “Trashion” show at the National Stadium, we were able to highlight the resourcefulness of waste. With the participation and support from attendees, volunteers and organisations, the event was enlightening, impactful, memorable and exciting.
Our 2020 Global Recycling Day event consisted of the following activities:
- A brief sensitization by LAWMA
The Advocacy team of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) was present at the event and they sensitised event participants on the process of recycling. It was very beneficial and insightful as the participants who were sensitised were able to pass the message on to the traders and passers-by we engaged on the streets during the awareness walk.
- Awareness walk
After the brief sensitization session, participants were split into three teams and our 5.4km awareness walk commenced at exactly 10:45am.. The marked locations were National Stadium Gate, Shitta roundabout and Shoprite, Surulere. Placards, banners , pamphlets and the Wecyclers registration form were distributed amongst participants to enable them to speak to passers-by about recycling. If a passer-by was interested in recycling, they could register immediately under Wecyclers – a recycling company.
- “Bring your own bag” campaign
Some event participants volunteered to participate in the “Bring Your Own Bag Campaign” we hosted at Shoprite Shopping Mall Surulere. We had volunteers stationed at the different shopping counters where they enlightened up to 30 customers on the need to switch from single-use plastic bags to eco-friendly reusable bags. Immediately after doing so, these customers repacked their items into reusable shopping bags donated by Jute Express.
- “Trashion” Show
Ending the day on a good note, we partnered with Greenfingers Wildlife Initiative to showcase fabulous fashion pieces made from upcycled waste items like newspapers and plastic bags. This served as a medium to resound the strong message on the need for the world to view waste as a RESOURCE that can be harnessed to create value. Rather than simply being dumped in landfills, waste can be repurposed to create wealth and value for humanity
- Eleven Eleven Twelve Foundation,
- Greenfingers Wildlife Initiative
- Lagos Green Week.
- Global Recycling Foundation
- Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency
- Lagos State Waste Management Authority
- Wildlife of Africa Initiative,
Other participating organizations:
- AIESEC in Lagos
- Green Minds
We won the 2020 Recycling Heroes Award from the Global Recycling Foundation. (https://www.globalrecyclingday.com/recycling-heroes/2020-competition/)