It is well documented that large percentages of marine waste come from onshore through our rivers, drainages, and beaches. It is estimated that each square kilometer of ocean contains 13,000 plastic pieces of waste material.
A recent study conducted by International Council of Beverages Associations (ICBA) found out presence of 15 million pieces of plastics waste in the ocean currently.
On the same issue, another important report from Ocean Conservancy’s 2018 International Coastal Cleanup established that during coastal clean-ups, cigarette buts are predominant with an average of 2.4 million pieces, followed by food wrappers with an average of 1.7 million pieces, then plastic bottles 1.6 million, plastic caps 1.1 million and plastic carrier bags 757,523 pieces forming five groups of much-collected debris during coastal clean-ups conducted by more than 100 countries across the world.
Back home in Tanzania, our Mtwara, Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Tanga, and Zanzibar coasts have much similar shape and conditions considering human activities with improper plastic bottles disposal onto the waterways such as rivers and drainages, as a key factor.
If this situation is not addressed, it is estimated that by 2050 oceans and seas will have more plastic materials than fish.
It is a twelve (12) months campaign designed, founded, and organized by Coca-Cola Kwanza Company, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa. The campaign inception goes back to February 2019, focused on educating, training, engaging and influencing on plastic waste disposal within our communities through coastal clean-up, plastic bottles collection, recycling and plastic bottles disposal best practices in Tanzania.
Coastal clean-ups are done by engaging respective communities through imparting knowledge which keeps them in safe, sustainable and desirable habitat in an effort to free coastal sand from unnecessary plastic waste.
In addition, plastic bottles collection is key to our environment safety and significantly preserves ecology of pre-existing environment.
Mchanga Pekee Campaign is categorized into two main activities, both reflecting common goal of educating communities through engaging in preservation and conservation of environment. Main tasks of the campaign are coastal clean-up and plastic bottles purchase for recycling purposes.
Not to mention, the campaign is also built to enable, encourage and monitor coastal clean-ups across the country aligned with plastic bottles disposal best practices. It is also a platform to increase mass awareness over environment conservation best practices particularly plastic waste and a reminder to community towards importance of environment conservation.
Among many other objectives, the campaign is set to bring together key players of industries sector and plastic bottles manufacturers to engage in environment conservation.
Mchanga Pekee Campaign has managed to recruit young, dynamic women in Coco Beach, tasked with cleanliness of the beach five times per week, eight hours per day from February 2019 to February 2020. The campaign sees Coco beach cleaned up on every Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Upon the task, those women have been handled employment contracts, necessary tools, and environment education.
It’s through this campaign Coca-Cola Kwanza Company has managed to place almost 10 waste containers in different places across Coco Beach with each container carrying crucial message to remind every citizen to properly dispose waste through it.
This activity is valid and successful resulting from prior memorandum of understanding between, Coca-Cola Kwanza Company (through Mchanga Pekee Campaign) with Government (through Kinondoni Municipal Council) pertaining to coastal clean-ups, taking Coco Beach as pilot case.
Through coastal cleaners team working, Mchanga Mpekee Campaign has identified, through cleanup, high number of plastic bottles pieces out of disposed waste, others being safety pins, syringes, food wrappers, straws, plastic closures, plastic carrier bags as well as food crumbs.
Positive impacts of Mchanga Pekee Campaign
It is undenied truth that Mchanga Pekee Campaign has managed to reach majority people in community manifesting its primary objective of educating community on coastal clean-up.
At weekend, Coco Beach receives an average of 300 to 500 people in different times, and whoever walks in, is certain to meet our cleaners at work to clean every single portion. Along the way, visitors would face diverse calls and messages written on every single waste container reminding beach user to conserve environment for his/her future and generations at large.
Currently, over the 5,000 people have read such displayed messages and managed to use special waste containers, to dispose waste after consumption.
Through our coastal cleaners taskforce, an estimate of 150 plastic bottles, over 250 plastic closures and large amount of marine debris which moved onshore by powerful oceanic waves, were collected.
A stockpile of collected debris by Mchanga Pekee taskforce, is reserved in a safe waiting place for Kinondoni Municipal Council dumpsters to collect them.
Collected plastic bottles are transported directly to plastic bottles recyclers for manufacture of plastic goods.
This campaign and activity going on at Coco Beach has beautified the area and given it a new look, attracting many tourists compared to the past. The visitors have attributed Mchanga Pekee Campaign, as innovated, founded and organized by Coca-Cola Kwanza Company, as initiative which has made great changes in Coco Beach.
As of now, Mchanga Pekee taskforce has collected over 8,500 plastic bottles waste around Coco Beach and have all been dispatched to the recycling companies to make plastic goods.
Among other factors, taskforce is also obligated to educate the beach goers about environment conservation taking into consideration recent coastal conservations context.
Trash for Cash
A Trash for Cash is a brainchild of Mchanga Pekee Campaign improvised for mass awareness commonly in their residence and streets concerning environment conservation and their full-fledge participation in cleaning the streets as an integral part of keeping them clean and community as whole.
Coca-Cola Kwanza Company buys plastic bottles at Shs.50 each. The Company targets to buy 15,000 used plastic bottles per month from different places.
This campaign, under the Mchanga Pekee, chooses social housing sites and goes camping in human settlements with educational vehicles, garbage collection vehicles, environmental taskforce and collection of plastic bottles for the community.
The exercise was launched in February and the campaign aims to deliver environmental education to all people in different communities and regions in the country where every month the task force chooses a destination where it provides quality plastic waste disposal education.
So far the campaign has been successful in various places in Dar es Salaam including Mbagala (Temeke District), Manzese (Ubungo District), Tandale (Kinondoni District), Mwanyamala-CCM Mwinjuma (Kinondoni District), and Buguruni chama (Ilala District) where in each area this campaign has been able to successfully provide environmental education to approximately 5,000 residents. On the other hand, until now more than 60,000 used plastic bottles have been purchased.
The price used for the purchase of bottles in this campaign is four times that of market price. Other dealers buy used plastic bottles basing on their weight where 1 kg od used plastic bottle price is approximately between Shs.200 and Shs.250. a kilo of used plastic bottles contains between 25 and 30 pieces, which, if sold by piece through our campaign, one would earn between Shs.1,000 and Shs.1,500.
The purpose of our campaign is not meant to destroy the market, but rather to bring environmental awareness and the importance of plastic bottles disposal to our homes which are the source of drainage blockage and later forcing its movement through the rivers and to finally ending at sea.
This campaign has the potential to economically empower citizens as it has always been received by the community with a very strong response. A lot of people come with used plastic bottles they want to dispose giving strong interpretation to taskforce that much needs to be done to address the situation.
How the campaign is being executed
A person, who brings used plastic bottles for sale, is met with Coca-Cola Kwanza taskforce person who counts the number of submitted bottles and gives special coupon that grants him an access to a special delivery vehicle for respective payment. This exercise is designed to be very simple and enables the bottle holder to get his money quickly and with great deal of transparency.
The benefits of Mchanga Pekee campaign
- Awareness and education of the conservation and sustainable management of our environment.
- Support the Government’s efforts in creating a better society that take the importance of environmental conservation and sustainable environmental management at heart.
- The promotion of the beaches tourism industry by facilitating the full-time care of the beaches and achieving the attraction of the beaches as part of the national income through the tourism industry.
- Economic empowerment and opportunity (employment) for youth and women through this project.
- To reduce an instant increase in plastic bottles waste in society and to educate the community on better ways to preserve and improve the use of plastic bottles.
- The protection and conservation of marine ecology and arable land also enable communities to live in areas free from pollution and pollution.
Coca-Cola Kwanza as part of the community and the Government and community’s major stakeholder in environmental conservation plans to develop this campaign and design various other campaigns aimed at enabling communities to invest in a safe and sustainable society to enabling development efforts to take place in a safe and secure environment.