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Group seeks policies, awareness to tackle waste pollution

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Lagos-based hub of the Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, has called for increased awareness, new policies and community action to tackle issues of waste pollution.
 
The group made the call at the close out ceremony for its ‘plastic to resources’ project, which was designed to address plastic waste challenge in Lagos, empower women and youths to turn waste into wealth.
   
The project, funded through the New World Programme, sponsored by Global Water Challenge and Coca Cola Foundation, was set up to create job opportunities in underserved communities in Lagos area, by empowering women and youth with recycling skills as well as helping them earn income.
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According to the group, leading recycling organisations such as Ecoprune and HB Imagino were engaged as technical partner under the plastics to resources project, which since its inception, has trained and absorbed into the plastic recycling industry 246 individuals. Also, 200 metric tons of plastic waste had been collected and processed into food-grade packaging.
 
Speaking during the close out ceremony, Curator, Lagos Hub, April Amorighoye, said “the essence of this project was to help change behaviour of citizens on waste disposal through a waste collection and aggregation system, while also empowering women with skills on how to turn waste-to-wealth. We are glad that this project led to improved sanitation, hygiene, and adoption of better waste management by residents in host community.”
 
On his part, Co-Lead, Climate and Environment, Lagos Hub, Babajide Oluwase, said: “The project’s execution was hampered by the breakout of COVID-19 pandemic, however, we were able to ensure continuous plastic waste recovery and empowerment of women and youth in the host community, in a safe manner. We trained them on the technical side of recycling and empowered them with business skills as well as information to make money from recycling.

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“In addition, because we care about the sustainability of the businesses these women started, we have decided with our partners to ensure continuous payment, once they bring in plastic waste packages to factories. Our goal is to expand the programme to more communities, empower women and youths to execute this project on a larger scale.”
 
Coordinator Ecoprune, Wunmi Ogunde, commended the hub on the project’s success, and also called for more collaboration to tackle waste pollution. “We are glad to have been a part of this project and we would like to see more collaboration in the recycling space as that is the only way public and private stakeholders can achieve lasting change and reduce plastic pollution in Nigeria.
 
“With Lagos generating millions of plastic waste daily, and the state estimated to double in size by 2050 to 32.6 million people, it is important that key stakeholders in the private and public sector come together, to implement projects that will reduce plastic waste pollution problem and provide employment opportunities for residents of Lagos.”

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