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FG plans sustainable plastic value chain practices in Abuja, Lagos

By Cornelius Essen, Abuja
14 February 2022   |   3:07 am
A tripartite project agreement has been endorsed between the Federal Government and development partners for sustainable plastic waste management in the Federal Capital Territory and Lagos State.

Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria,Mr. Matsunaga Kazuyoshi (left); Minister of State for Enviornment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Regional Director, Mr. Jean Bakole exchanging signed project document in Abuja.

A tripartite project agreement has been endorsed between the Federal Government and development partners for sustainable plastic waste management in the Federal Capital Territory and Lagos State.

The document signed between the Minister of State for Environment,Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Matsunaga Kazuyoshi and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Regional Director, Mr. Jean Bakole in Abuja, will promote sustainable plastic value chain through circular economy practices.

Findings on Nigeria Waste Consumption level revealed that the country’s waste generation would drive her to be the world’s largest producer of waste globally, especially, as it does not have a deliberate plan of action to reverse the development.

The survey commissioned by the government of Japan in 2021 showed that Nigeria Consumption has grown from 578,000MT to 1,250,000MT with a Per capita consumption grown from 4kg to 6.5kg while each citizen consumed 7.5kg, which accounted for 13 per cent of total solid waste.

The report also “ranked Nigeria as ninth country having coastlines generating mismanaged plastic waste and was predicted that by 2025, Nigeria will be the largest producer of mismanaged plastic waste in Africa.”

Based on this premise, the government said there is an urgent need to support the draft implementation guidelines of plastic waste management by creating a recycling value chain in demonstrating how municipalities could develop action plans.

The Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, sai that, with a population of over 200 million, Nigerians generate about 32 million tons of solid waste per year, out of which 1.15 million tons are plastic wastes, with little or no segregation and illegally dumped in open spaces.

Ikeazor said the practice of dumping wastes in drainages or disposing hazardous and health care wastes in dumpsites has caused marine litter and perennial flooding across the country.

She declared: “These unwholesome practices have led to increased respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, increased incidences of cancer, loss of aquatic life, loss in agricultural productivity, and generation of a large volume of plastic waste.”

The minister emphasised that the project would present circular economic business opportunities across the plastic value chain, which should be properly harnessed for job and wealth creation, establishment of micro, small and medium scale enterprises, and private sector investment.

Ikeazor said: “One of the ways to realise this potential is to support the industry by demonstrating benefits of adopting circular economy practices with innovative technologies including recycling technology or alternative material production.

“This project objective is to promote the integration of circular economy principles and practices into plastic waste management, strengthen plastic value chains, demonstrate the benefits of adopting circular economy practices and resource-efficient production of plastic value chains in Nigeria.

“We have taken proactive measures to promote, institutionalise and entrench sound circular economy principles and practices such as giving it a prime national policies on solid waste and plastic waste management,” Ikeazor added.

“The Japanese Government has funded a study on available sustainable alternative materials for plastic innovative packaging and recycling technologies that would meet market needs in Africa to reduce plastic leakages to the environment in Nigeria.”

The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, said the project would promote sustainable plastic value chain through circular economy practices.

The envoy explained the draft document would serve as enhancement of the value of the Gulf of Guinea, development of the blue economy, prosperity of Nigerians, adding that Japan hopes to contribute through its technology and know-how.

UNIDO Representative, Mr. Jean Bakole, said the signing of the project agreement is aimed at supporting the efforts towards accelerating economic diversification and sustainable growth through inclusive and industrialisation.

For Oluyomi Banjo of UNIDO, plastic litter is a major global environmental problem and its production has increased.

Banjo said that the waste are released into the marine environment when improperly managed, could travel thousands of miles and in the process affecting the ecosystem as well as blue economy.

He said the mismanaged plastics is the source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), adding that open burning of plastics emits toxic chemicals of 322 million metric tons of output to the environment and is expected to double by 2035 and triple by 2050.

While painting the scenario in Nigeria, he maintained, if no action is taken 12 per cent of the total amount of solid waste generated are plastics, only 14 per cent collected and only 9 per cent recycled locally.