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Stakeholders step up efforts to tackle plastic waste pollution in Nigeria

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[FILES] Plastic waste.

With the growing concern on plastic wastes and the dangers posed on the ecosystem, environment and wildlife, stakeholders have step up efforts to tackle the situation by developing a circular plastic economy where plastics are collected, recycled and reused efficiently.

The United Nation had estimated that 70 percent of all ocean litter is plastic, describing the situation as “a planetary crisis causing irreparable damage.”

Determined to salvage the problem in Nigeria, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Nigeria, Mauricio Alarcon said tackling plastics pollution and its environmental impact requires an urgent priority of a multi-sector collaboration.

He said the company, as part of solutions to plastic pollution, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wecyclers, a social enterprise that helps household communities capture value from their waste, to accelerate the process of recovering and recycling post-consumption plastic packaging waste in Lagos State.

This, he said, would ensure no plastic and other product packaging materials, would end up in landfills or as litter in the environment, seas, oceans and waterways.

“One of our ambitions is to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations as we strive towards a waste-free future and building thriving communities. A key part of achieving this goal is to make 100 percent of our packaging reusable or recycled by 2050,” he said.

Alarcon said the project would also build a self-sufficient recycle economy around post-consumer packaging waste in order to stimulate employment, wealth creation and innovation.

“In line with the belief that producers and consumers need to change behaviour and habits to manage the menace, we are taking action with other industry members of the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance and also engaging our people, consumers and business partners to play their part in tackling the plastic problems. We need to protect and improve our environment,” he added.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, Wecyclers, Olawale Adebiyi said the partnership will help to create a plastic recycling ecosystem in Nigeria, adding that while tackling plastic menace, the project will also help to create 40 direct jobs for collection points operators and sorters, while empowering an additional 15, 000 subscribers.

Adebiyi noted that the recycling programme, since inception in 2018, has diverted over 4000 tons of plastic from landfills into productive reuse, noting that the construction and deployment of each recycling kiosk will cover areas such as Ajah, Ikeja, Mushin, Lagos Island, Magodo and Ketu, among others.


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