The Coca-Cola System in Kenya is embarking on a transformational journey involving COPA Coca-Cola participating secondary school students, educating them 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 ensuring that the teens are 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 behavior change in relation to plastic disposal. Kenya, amongst fourteen other Southern, East and Central Africa countries, have been 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 problem by committing to its World Without Waste vision, that aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of the packaging it sells by 2030.
The event was also graced by Director, Field Coordination of Co-curricular Activities, Ministry of Education, Dr. Pius Mutisya on behalf of Principal Secretary of Education Dr. Belio Kipsang, who reiterated on the importance of extra-curricular activities on the development of a teen.
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. By introducing a behavior change campaign, it will go a long way to ensure 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 soccer will contribute to a greater cause which is protecting our environment by educating young people on conservation.”
Special bins will be set up in participating schools where plastic bottles will be collected. The initiative will also involve community members surrounding the schools in the recycling programme in order to cultivate a behavior change not only amongst the students, but the community as well and in the end, result in taking good care of the environment by all Kenyans.
One school, in every region (former provinces) pitches are set to be revamped. The winning school will be determined by achieving the highest number of kilos over the tournament period which runs from May to July 2019.
The winning schools will be awarded with a refurbished football pitch which will have a standardized playing ground, goal posts, nets, score board and the students being 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 handed over soccer ball and jerseys.
At the end of the programme, the schools will be handed over a cheque in accordance with the amount of plastic collected. The money will be used to develop extra-curricular activities in the institutions.
All this will be in partnership with Mr. Green Africa, who will assist in collection of the plastics across the country. They will be delivered to T3 recycling firm which will convert the plastics into textiles to be used in making t-shirts and other materials.