By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA–THE Nigeria Climate Innovation Center, NCIC in collaboration with Coca-Cola Nigeria, has launched a Cycle Plast Project in the country.

The project is aimed at promoting a plastic waste-free environment derived through modified behaviour and proper disposal habits of communities, while creating jobs and unlocking opportunities along the plastic waste recycling value chain of Nigeria.

To this end, the NCIC has said Nigeria must begin measures aimed at effectively tackling waste disposal.

This was as Coca Cola Nigeria said its food and beverage recycling alliance has mopped over two billion bottles so far.

The Chief Executive Officer, NCIC, Bankole Oloruntoba, speaking at the launch of the Cycle Plast Project in Abuja,called for support for the informal sector which he noted,was responsible for about 70 per cent of the plastic collection rate of the country “to do more by digitising the sector and making it more inclusive and attractive for investments.”

Recall that the NCIC was created in 2018 as a collaboration between the World Bank and the federal government through the office of the vice president with the mandate to lead the growth of the Nigerian green economy.

Besides,it was to accelerate energy access in Nigeria through private sector development

Oloruntoba, explained that the Cycle Plast Project “will engage the general public through innovative and disruptive behaviour change campaigns on consumption and disposal patterns of single use PET plastic bottles with the aim of encouraging plastic consumers to responsibly dispose their plastic waste to enhance and build an effective collection system.”

He recalled that a 2021 plastic pollution by country report published by the World Population Review, showed Nigeria as the 7th largest country in the world, generating plastic waste amounting to about 5.96 million tons annually with about 70 percent ending up in landfills and waterways.

Also speaking during the launch of the project, the Director, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Amaka Onyemelukwe, said her organisation’s alliance with other foods and beverages companies has so mopped over 60,000 metric tons of plastics, which açcording to her,was equivalent to over 2 billion bottles.

She hinted that the project will engage many collectors and recyclers even as she ruled out the possibility of phasing out glass bottles.

Açcording to Onyemelukwe, it had become imperative not just to raise advocacy, but also awareness of the necessity of the return of PET bottles for recycling after usage.

Onyemelukwe said the project will assist in enhancing the PET collection rates in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The project, she explained, would be implemented in North Central (Abuja), Northwest (Kano), Northeast (Adamawa), Southwest (Kwara), Southeast (Abia), and South-South (Edo).

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