Group expands, enhances recycling business, safer environment
An eco-friendly firm, Paper bags by Ebees is promoting a circular business model in the implementation of its recycling outfit, while also expanding its business operations across West Africa and reaching more businesses.
The circular economy aims to retain the lifespan of products through repair and maintenance, reusing, remanufacturing, or up-cycling. To sum it up, circularity is about maintaining value and not creating waste in the process.
The group was one of the top 30 female-led businesses across Africa selected by Women Entrepreneurship for Africa for grant funding and tailor-made business mentorship.
Co-founder, Paper bags by Ebees, Ms. Chidiebere Nnorom, said: “We are currently fundraising to scale our operations across West Africa and looking at instruments such as debt financing with interest rates lower than 10 per cent, equity and grant funding to upgrade our current capacity.
“We are hopeful that pitching at the Team Europe Initiative-Investing in young Businesses in Africa (TEI IYBA) event at the Marriott in Lagos will take us a step closer to the funds we need. We have also received funding from Orange Corners, Nigeria (OCIF), Nigerian Export Promotion Council and Tony Elumelu Foundation.
“For four years, we have serviced most of the high-end restaurants and hotels in Lagos. But more and more businesses are beginning to realise that there is a business case for circularity in business. Our headline product, the paper bag, is made from recycled paper and is cheaper by 50 per cent than Folding Box Board (FBB) Polyethylene coated bags and 100 per cent recyclable with high recyclable value.
“With scale, we have plans to collect these bags through partner recycling companies and help to drive a local circular economy. The impact we are currently validating with a team of experts at GCIP, a UNIDO and Federal Government sponsored event to see at what scale our operations can help mitigates against GHGs.”
Also, paper bags are a cheaper and eco-friendly alternative to single-use packaging needs like in food service, fashion and grocery service. With plans to develop more products from recycled materials other than paper-based. Some years back, Kenya and Rwanda banned single-use plastic bags and enforced strict laws on their usage. They are reaping the rewards, as their cities are one of the cleanest in Africa. Most of Europe has erased single-use plastic bags as well.
“I like what Paper bags by Ebees is trying to achieve,” said Alhaji Ahmed Alex Omah, President of the African Packaging Organization, Executive Director Institute of Packaging Nigeria, and Board Member of World Packaging organization.
“Packaging touches every sector, and Nigeria is a huge market with great potential. That’s why through the Nigeria Packaging Academy, in collaboration with the Institute of Packaging South Africa, we are helping to structure and certify professionals in the sectors with advanced packaging technology education to help build human resources for the industry.