As the world commemorates Global Recycling Day on March 18th, Nestlé East, and Southern African Region (ESAR) is proud to announce the launch of its RE sustainability initiative in Zambia. The programme kicks off with a partnership with Chilanga Cement in a plastic neutrality project that seeks to reduce plastic pollution in Zambia and the surrounding region.
The launch of this exciting project in Zambia is in line with this year’s Global Recycling Day theme, which is creative innovation. Nestlé ESAR and Chilanga Cement, in partnership, are bringing together the private sector and local communities using an innovative solution that addresses plastic waste.
Plastic waste is collected by waste reclaimers from Recyclemania a waste management enterprise in the local community in Lusaka, who work with Chilanga Cement’s sustainability division, Eco Unit. Recyclemania currently collects 120 tonnes of plastic monthly which is sorted into recyclable PET plastics that gets sold to enterprises that reuse plastic waste. About 10 – 14 tonnes of the remaining non-recyclable plastic are collected, weighed, and co-processed using innovative technology, a process that takes disposal plastic and transforms it into energy recovery, instead of the norm of taking it to dump sites where they end up in landfills. This disposal is incineration in a closed loop system without residue, ensuring a more environmentally friendly processing that has a direct impact to reduction of landfill waste. The project’s target is to collect 160 tonnes of plastic waste generated in the value chain to be processed monthly which essentially means plastic neutrality for Nestlé in the country.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Zubayer Davids, Country Business Manager for Nestlé in Zambia and Malawi, said, “This is an exciting project for us here in Zambia, and we are pleased to be partnering with a leading local business and the local community in delivering meaningful change in managing waste. We are taking charge, aiming our efforts at reaching plastic neutrality by rethinking how we reduce plastic waste in landfills. Innovation in the ways we dispose of the plastic is at the heart of this project. Equally important to note is how this project will help sustain and improve livelihoods in Zambia. We have created and sustained jobs for 37 direct employees and indirectly impacted over 600 community-based collectors within the plastics waste recovery program, majority who are youth and women in Zambia. That is how we are making the ultimate goal of a waste free future, and reaching net zero by 2050, matter to local communities in the region.”
Commenting of the partnership, Jianping Chai, Chief Executive officer of Chilanga Cement, said he was happy with the partnership between Chilanga Cement and Nestlé, as it helps companies to rethink waste.
“With this partnership, will help reduce our carbon footprint by diverting domestic waste from landfills and transforming it into energy resources. We are proud to be part of this project, as it is an example of how companies can work together to create positive change for our environment. This is an important milestone in our journey to achieve net zero waste going to landfills,” said Mr Chai.
The project in Zambia forms part of a range of activities that Nestlé have been doing in the east and southern Africa region, projects that bring together government, the private sector, and local communities. These include a partnership with the National Environment Management Agency and the Department of Education in Kenya, and RE-Imagine Tomorrow, a waste management value chain revamp in partnership with a tech startup and local waste reclaimers in South Africa. At the heart of RE and these many projects, are three simple principles that will be key in our shift from linear to circular economies, which are: Rethink, Reducing, and Repurpose.
“We’re proud to be in partnership with Chilanga Cement, who share our vision of a waste-free future. Working with our Eco Unit division and local community partners, this is just the beginning of an innovative engagement that will deliver meaningful change to Zambia,” concluded Davids.
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Nestlé East and Southern African Region (ESAR)
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Issued by Weber Shandwick on behalf of Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region
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Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. It is present in 187 countries around the world, and its 291,000 employees are committed to Nestlé’s purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality for everyone, today and for generations to come. Nestlé offers a wide portfolio of products and services for people and their pets throughout their lives. Its more than 2,000 brands range from global icons like Nescafé or Nespresso to local favourites like Ricoffy. Company performance is driven by its Nutrition, Health, and Wellness strategy. Nestlé is based in the Swiss town of Vevey where it was founded more than 150 years ago.