The Federal Government has signed an agreement to integrate circular economy into plastic waste management.
The agreement with Government of Japan and UNIDO 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, is designed to achieve.
Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, who represented the federal government said that Nigeria, with a population of over 200 Million people generates about 32 Million tons of solid waste per year.
She said that 1.15 million tons of plastic wastes, with little or no segregation, is illegally dumped in open spaces including drainages, or disposed of with hazardous wastes such as health care wastes in dumpsites and burnt openly with an estimated 340 thousand tons ending up as marine litter.
“These unwholesome practices have been linked to the perennial flooding across the country, increased respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, increased incidences of cancer, loss of aquatic life, loss in agricultural productivity, etc.
“The large volume of plastic waste being generated in the country presents circular economic business opportunities across the plastic value chain which should be properly harnessed for job/wealth creation, establishment of micro, small and medium scale enterprises, private sector investment including foreign direct investment in addition to preventing/reducing plastic leakages to the environment.
“One of the ways to realize 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 would therefore complement the efforts of our government in mainstreaming circular economy principles and practices into our National Development Plans.
In his presentation titled “Promoting Sustainable Plastic Value Chain through Circular Economy Practices” in Nigeria, Environment Expert, UNIDO Regional Office, Oluyomi Banjo noted that plastic litter is a major global environmental problem whose production has exponentially increased.
He said that plastics originated mostly from land but also released into the marine environment when improperly managed can travel thousands of miles and affects the ecosystem and blue economy.
He said that when mismanaged, plastics are source of GHG emissions, while open burning of plastics emits toxic chemicals.
The project has a duration of 36 months (2022-2025). Has a budget of JPY 319,000,000 approximately USD 2,901,527.
The Federal Ministry of Environment are the main counterparts, while key partners are the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, National Environmental Standards, Regulations and Enforcement Agency, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) in cooperation with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance and Waste Management Association of (WAMASON).
In his remarks, the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria Matsunaga Kazuyoshi noted that the project will enhance the Value of the Gulf of Guinea, Development of the Blue Economy and Prosperity of Nigeria
In a Goodwill address, UNIDO Representative and Regional Director, Nigeria Office, Mr Jean Bakole said the Organization will support the country and partners in translating the agreement into boosting industrial development.