Stakeholders canvass recycling to prevent debris from blocking waterways
Stakeholders have advocated the need for recycling of materials that end up in the waterways, preventing easy navigation of boats and vessels.
They also stressed the use of cans as the most sustainable containers for beverages, noting that the recycling market is high and does not end up in landfills or waterways.
Speaking at the second edition of the CanDo Paint, Sip and Plant 2.0 event held in Lagos, the Managing Director, Nampak Bevcan Nigerian, Andrew Loggie, said the firm focuses on sustainability impact of beverage cans, which are the most recycled in the world to help mitigate the effect of debris on waterways and the environment.
“Recycling cans help to sustain the environment and ensure it doesn’t end up in landfills and waterways. We don’t have a formal collection programme in Nigeria, but there are informal recycling programmes in Nigeria. We are reducing the use of the world’s natural resources. Recyclability is crucial to reduce single use of plastics that end up in the environment and waterways,” he said.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Ibrahim Odugbemi, said promoting recycling would end dumping of wastes and pollution on waterways.
He said the reason cans don’t cause pollution is because of the recovery and recycling rate, which is almost 100 per cent.
Odugbemi said there is a need to get plastics and cardboard to the level of recycling for a sustainable environment.
According to him, using more cans will help address climate change issues, such as the recent flooding experienced in Nigeria arising from blockage of drainages and waterways by wastes.
He said LAWMA is working with sister agencies to ensure the creation of a circular economy that would encompass all recyclable materials.
“We have about 160 recyclers that have created over 13, 500 jobs in the sector and now we are collecting 10 to 12 per cent of the volume of plastics we generate daily in Lagos and that is something that shows a big progress.
“With many off takers coming in, we will start to see a better day for our drains, shorelines and Lagoons as well,” he said.
The General Manager, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Adetoun Popoola, lamented that dumping of refuse into drainages gets them blocked, leading to the flood issue the country is currently facing.
“We are experiencing a lot of issues around flooding in Nigeria and one of the good things about Lagos is that there is a drainage master plan.
“People are dumping their wastes into the drainages, which blocks them and when it rains, the water is not able to dissipate, and sometimes, water washes waste into the waterways,” she said. She advocated the use of cans, which she said could be recycled, compared to styrofoam, which is not useful once the lifespan is gone.
“We encourage people to use cans because we can recycle them. At the end of the day, we don’t want things ending up in the drainages and waterways,” she added.