As the world marks the 2020 Earth Day amidst efforts to halt the spread of rampaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited, has lauded the doggedness of environment frontline workers including street sweepers and garbage collectors for helping to keep the country clean.
Although social distancing and personal hygiene which includes regular washing of hands with soap and running water, and use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers are recommended as preventive measures to curtail COVID-19 spread, collective responsiveness to earth sustainability of which environmental cleanliness is key, is also critical at this time that human, wildlife and the marine ecosystem are facing the adverse effects of poor behaviour towards the earth system.
The NBC in a statement commemorating this year’s Earth Day with the theme ‘Climate Action’, signed by Director, Public Affairs and Communications, Ekuma Eze, urged Nigerians to embrace the highest standards of personal hygiene and clean environment to curtail the spread of the virus and protect planet earth.
“These are trying times not only in Nigeria but across the globe, and the importance of personal hygiene cannot be over-stressed. We call on all and sundry to maintain personal hygiene to break the spread of the virus, and to increase positive behaviour towards the earth. Indeed, we commend the public health workers: street sweepers, garbage collectors and those keeping our environment friendly for us all to live,” he said.
Eze noted that seeing that while lockdowns introduced by countries to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have seen pollution levels reduced and a more robust and thriving wildlife now evolving, he asked Nigerians to shun activities that can further cause damage to our environment.
“From Africa to Asia, Europe and North America, we have seen a significant reduction in pollution levels as a result of the lockdowns introduced by governments to curtail the Coronavirus. But we don’t have to wait for lockdowns to do the right things concerning the earth and the environment. We should promote sustainable environmental practices to preserve the environment for posterity. The earth, as rightly noted by scholars, is not an endless deposit of resources to exploit,” he added.
Though plans had been afoot to mark the 2020 World Earth Day first celebrated 50 years ago in a big way to draw the attention of policymakers and governments to increasing pollution and global warming, the celebrations were shelved because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused disruptions to social and economic activities globally.
This year’s celebration is limited to people’s immediate and virtual surroundings as the Earth Movement planned 72-hours of digital action to celebrate the theme, ‘Climate Action.’
The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and is credited with launching the modern environmental movement. It is now recognised as the planet’s most significant civic event. As a friend of the earth, NBC consistently promotes responsible behaviour towards the earth and environment by incorporating and implementing actions that contribute to earth sustainability across all its operations. These include use of greener energy through the installation of Combined Heat and Power Plant in its production facilities, lightweighting of packaging materials and deployment of Ozone-friendly coolers in trade.