…Nestle Nigeria, Wecylers tackle plastic waste pollution in Lagos
By Chioma Obinna
With growing concern about the quantity of plastic waste entering the natural environment, harming wildlife and damaging ecosystems globally, experts have raised the alarm over the quantity of waste generates in Nigeria, disclosing that the country generates 32 million metric tonnes of wastes while about 150,000 metric tonnes of plastic wastes enter the ocean in the country daily.
The experts also noted that of the 32 million metric tonnes, Lagos alone produces bout 10,000 metric tonnes most of which ends up in landfills and waterways.
To tackle the menace, Nestle Nigeria recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Wecyclers, to accelerate the process of recovering and recycling post-consumption plastic packaging waste in Lagos State.
Wecylers is a social enterprise that helps households in low-income communities capture value from their waste.
The agreement, according to Nestle, would enable Wecyclers to extend plastics waste recovery systems to more communities through the establishment of collection points across five more communities. The project will also, help to create 40 direct jobs for collection point operators and sorters, and empower additional 15,000 Wecylcer subscribers.
At the signing, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Nigeria, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, estimated that 70 per cent of all ocean litter is plastic and the environmental impact is so enormous that the United Nations described it as a planetary crisis causing irreparable damage.
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“In Nigeria, due to the increasing usage and indiscriminate disposal of single-use plastics, we are witnessing a surge in plastic waste pollution.
Noting that these wastes pose exacerbating health challenges and environmental hazards, he said tackling the plastics situation was a priority which requires multi-sector collaboration.
On the MoU, Alarcon said “One of our ambitions at Nestlé is to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations as we strive towards a waste-free future. A key part of achieving this goal is to make 100 percent of our packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025. Another important element is our vision that none of our product packaging, including plastics, should end up in landfills or as litter in our environment, in our seas, oceans, and waterways. Tackling plastic pollution is an urgent priority which requires multi-sector collaboration, so this MoU with Wecyclers is another step towards achieving our shared objectives of a waste-free future and building thriving communities.”
The CEO, Wecyclers, Mr. Olawale Adebiyi, said the partnership would extend plastics collection and recycling by setting up more collection sites in Lagos.
“We are indeed pleased to partner with Nestlé to achieve our objectives of helping to create a plastics recycling ecosystem in Nigeria. We are happy that in addition to tackling the plastics menace, the project will create 40 direct jobs for collection point operators/ sorters while empowering additional 15,000 Wecyclers subscribers.”