Cash From Trash? Here’s How Coca-Cola Is Tackling Plastic Waste In Nigeria

Last year, it was revealed that The Coca-Cola Foundation committed thousands of dollars to innovative initiatives such as the RecyclesPay Project, a programme through which waste collection was incentivised for vulnerable communities. This year, The Coca-Cola Foundation is sticking to this tested formula through the Cash 4 Trash Initiative, implemented by local NGOs, W.A.S.T.E Africa, in partnership with MEDIC.

Intuitive thinking from numerous NGOs saw a proliferation of out-of-the-box ideas to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gases. With Coca-Cola identifying these local NGOs and empowering them to do more, it’s safe to say positive behavioural change is already occurring, even though the country still has a long way to go. With the Coca-Cola “Cash 4 Trash” initiative, the trust in an incentive-based system is purely empirical, and that’s what makes it so effective.

Here’s all you need to know about the purpose of the initiative:

Behavioural Change

Current data shows that Nigeria generates more than 32 million tons of solid waste annually with only 20–30% collected. These startling numbers and percentages are a testament to the general populace’s attitude towards recycling and waste management — posing a major challenge for those seeking to shape behaviours favourably. The Cash 4 Trash Initiative not only seeks to drive a faster approach to eliminating waste off the streets, but also instilling positive attitudes in Nigerians towards adopting healthier environmental practices. Through the initiative, Coca-Cola seeks to encourage a change in the consumption habits of individuals and communities.

Waste Collection, Meet Technology: Or The Pakam App

Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? The “Pakam” app. This ingenious creation is a by-product of the innovative incentivised system adopted by the Cash 4 Trash Initiative. Through the Pakam app, recyclers and interested participants can request pick up of plastic waste collected at the tap of a button. This cutting-edge technology, utilised by the initiative, eliminates the stress associated with managing copious amounts of plastic waste. The technology connects waste from the general public to waste companies in real-time and also harbours a host of features including Waste Bin schedule monitoring, route navigation, real-time collection of waste, and more.

Trash Is The New Cash

In partnership with WASTE Africa and MEDIC, the Pakam app has been enabled to ensure individual recyclers receive online and automated payment for their recycling efforts. With the app or USSD code, recyclers and interested parties can now report waste for pick-up and subsequently get paid in the process.

Indeed, it’s a very exciting time for the women and members of the Ajah community as they get to experience firsthand the many benefits of Coca-Cola’s “Cash 4 Trash” Initiative. Not only will this initiative aid environmental sustainability in line with the company’s World Without Waste mandate to collect and recycle a bottle or can — regardless of where it comes from — for every one it sells by 2030, this initiative will also ensure the economic empowerment of thousands (and potentially millions of women, should the scale of the initiative be bolstered).

With support from The Coca-Cola Foundation to multiple local NGOs, several recycling and women empowerment programs are constantly being implemented to enable environmental sustainability while ensuring economic empowerment.




Official Medium page for BHM, a global media and public relations agency operating from Lagos, Nigeria. Since Nov 7, 2006. We put people before profit.

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Official Medium page for BHM, a global media and public relations agency operating from Lagos, Nigeria. Since Nov 7, 2006. We put people before profit.

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