Unity Bank, NGOs Remove Over 100,000 Plastic Bottles from Lagos Beach

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By Aduragbemi Omoyale

More than 100,000 plastic bottles were recently removed from a Lagos beach by hundreds of employees of Unity Bank Plc and three non-government organisations (NGOs); Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE), MEDIC and KBG.

It was to mark the 2022 World Earth Day and part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility aimed at leading major collaborative initiatives for climate action and promoting environmental sustainability.

A statement from the financial institution disclosed that no fewer than 200 of its members of staff, as well as over 100 members of RESWAYE thronged the venue of the cleaning exercise, the Lagos Kids Beach Garden within the Oba Elegushi beach environs, to make it safer and reduce ocean pollution.

The Group Head of Risk Management at Unity Bank, Mr Chris Nwambu, while citing recent reports on ocean pollution, decried that “of the over 300 million tons of plastic waste ends up in ocean’s yearly, an estimated 8 million tons of plastic enters our oceans. There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. While 70 per cent of our debris sinks into the ocean’s ecosystem, 15 per cent floats and 15 per cent lands on our beaches.”

He added that such activity as the collaboration and partnership by organizations would play a vital role in reducing the threats of ocean plastics and thereby reduce the climate risks they pose to the earth.

He reiterated that Unity Bank will continue to be very aggressive in terms of environmental protection and sustainability commitments, adding that “in line with the bank’s agribusiness strategic focus over the past couple of years, the Bank has granted access to credit to businesses in greenhouse farming and metal recycling to the tune of N3.25 billion.”

“But beyond supporting sustainability-related business, the operations of the bank have adopted sustainable practices in the way we carry out daily activities as a matter of corporate culture.

“As of today, 31 branches of the bank are running on hybrid solar solutions while 70 per cent of our 416 ATMs Bank-wide are powered by hybrid solar solutions with a projection to migrate an additional 15 per cent to hybrid solar solutions before the end of 2022.

“The reduction of carbon emissions by the bank since migrating branches and ATMs locations to Hybrid Solar Energy in 2018 now totals 21,631kg of Carbon Dioxide, saved monthly,” Mr Nwambu stated.

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