Abidjan’s Adjamé Station in Ivory Coast Declared Plastic Waste-Free
By Faridat Salifu
Ivory Coast, specifically at the bustling Adjamé bus station in Abidjan, a significant effort has been made to combat the persistent issue of plastic waste, despite a national ban on plastic bag usage since 2014. This vibrant transportation hub serves as one of Abidjan’s largest shopping centers and connects a population of approximately 340,000 residents to various bus routes, facilitating travel not only within Ivory Coast but also to neighboring countries like Burkina Faso and Niger. However, this vital transportation node has long been plagued by a combination of noise pollution and the pervasive plastic pollution stemming from the activities of both passengers and traders. This environmental threat has serious implications for public health and the surrounding ecosystem.
In response to this pressing issue, the Société de limonaderies et de boissons rafraîchissantes d’Afrique (SOLIBRA), headquartered in Abidjan and a key player in the region’s beverage industry, recently spearheaded a comprehensive clean-up operation. SOLIBRA partnered with volunteers from several social groups, including the Association ivoirienne de valorisation des déchets plastiques (AIVP), the Let’s do it platform focused on public health and hygiene, and Coliba Africa, which has established a factory for recycling plastics into water pipes, coolers, and even chairs.
Linda Okossi-Assamoi, SOLIBRA’s Safety-Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager, highlighted that the initiative involved not only cleaning up the station but also promoting environmental consciousness among station users. They distributed cleaning materials, installed dustbins, and introduced a waste collection box to encourage responsible waste disposal. This eco-responsible endeavor aligns with Ivory Coast’s commitments,
Moreover, development partners have joined the fight against plastic pollution in Ivory Coast. For instance, the African Development Bank (AfDB) initiated a collection drive for plastic bottles and bags on the beach at Grand-Bassam, located about a four-hour drive from the country’s capital, Yamoussoukro. This collaborative effort underscores the growing global consensus to address plastic pollution comprehensively. An international agreement, currently being formulated by an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), is set to take effect by 2024. This agreement will encompass the entire lifecycle of plastics, encompassing their production, utilization, and disposal, with the goal of significantly reducing their environmental impact.