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FABE preaches behavioral change for a sustainable environment

By Hauwa Ali

The Foundation for a Better Environment (FABE) International,Temitope Okunnu has called for a positive behavioral change to achieve a sustainable environment.
Okunnu preaches this in sensitization message during the clean-up of Okun-Ajah Beach on Thursday, in Lagos, themed: “Plastic Free July”.
According to Okunnu, resident must embrace recycling as part of a necessary behavioral change for a sustainable environment.
”It is ‘Plastic Free July’ and we are ending the month of July with the beach clean-up at Okun-Ajah community in collaboration with Cardtonic.
”Recycling is an activity that has gained popularity in Lagos state and that is why the residents feel they should get paid before any clean-up.
”Yes, there are monetary rewards for recycling but our aim as an organisation is to get the residents to have the necessary behavioral change for a sustainable environment.
”We want people to recycle not just because of the reward they may get from it, but because it has become a lifestyle to preserve the environment,” Okunnu said.
The clean up included training of women and children in recycling and up cycling activities in the community where Okunnu praised some women who have been actively involved in recycling activities in the area.
”They call us every other week that they are ready for a pick-up to the recycling hubs.
”They engage children and friends in the plastic collection that is why you see we have fewer plastics to pick at the beach this year compared to last year’s clean-up.
”We are happy with the behavioral change we witnessed as regards plastic pollution.
”The resident participants at clean-up will be rewarded with food items, home appliances and gifts aside the points they get from recycling pet bottles,” she said.
On her part, Ms Aisha Sulayman, Human Resources Assistant at Cardtonic, said partnering FABE for the clean-up was part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts.
”Cardtonic is a digital exchange platform that aims to bridge the gap between individuals who need liquid cash and businesses who need discounted gift cards as a payment alternative.
”At the beginning of the year 2022, we started this Giveback Initiative, where from every transaction on our on our platform, we take out N5 from every transaction as our CSR efforts.
”This month, we decided that to do a different form of Giveaway hence the partnership with FABE.
”With the flooding that happened in Lagos recently, it got us thinking that what can we do to sensitize people to clean up and recycle?
“It is the accumulation of this waste that people throw around that causes this flooding and it is not good for the environment.
“We believe the residents of Okun-Ajah will benefit a lot from this exercise,” Sulayman said.
On her part, Mrs Oyeronke Adegbile, a marine scientist and conservationist, commended the initiative noting that beach clean-up was a way of preserving marine life from extinction.
”To protect marine animals from extinction, we need to engage more on the beaches, you know, for example, what we are doing today is keeping the beach clean of plastics.
”Plastics are major pollutants and does not biodegrade easily. These PET bottles can stay up to 400 years before biodegrading.
”So, if we keep our beach clear of plastics for example, we are helping the sea turtles and other marine animals, most of them when they see plastics at sea they think is their favorite food,” Adegbile said.

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