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Nigerians want government to tackle waste problem with recycling


[FILES] Scavengers picking up trash for recycling at a dump site

Nigeria and the world at large has a huge waste problem. Fishes are found with plastics in them, drainages are blocked; we are literally drowing in plastic waste.

In response to the growing menace of single-use plastic, many countries in the world have enforced laws and policies to fight the deadly plastic pollution in their environment.

But for Nigeria, the Federal Government is yet to tackle its plastic problem.

In a poll conducted by The Guardian asking how the federal government should tackle it’s single-use plastic menace, 76% of the 826 respondents chose recycling as the means to end the current scourge of plastic waste in urban and rural landscapes across Nigeria.

Recycling, which is the process of converting waste into reusable material, will not only tackle the deadly pollution of plastics in the country but will improve the country’s economic growth.

Another 16% of the respondents want the government to impose a total ban on single-use plastic while 8% support the imposition of tax on plastic use.

Across Africa, several African countries like Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Mauritania, Tunisia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Morocco, South Africa have enacted laws related to the ban on the use, manufacture and importation of single-use plastic bags

But bans on single-use plastics without a viable and affordable alternative could have a negative effect on some sections of society and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Though Nigeria has taken some steps towards recycling, yet, Africa’s most populous country still drowns in 5.4 million tonnes of plastic bottles and about 50 billion plastic bags.

In 2018, the Vice president Yemi Osibanjo said the ministry of environment in collaboration with critical stakeholders have developed a national strategy for the phasing out of non-biodegradable plastics.

He also disclosed that a total of eight plastic waste recycling plants have already been completed and handed over to the states while 18 others are at various stages of completion.

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