NIGERIA – The Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA), has partnered the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), to equip plastic manufacturers and recyclers with required skills to reduce leakage of plastics into the environment.

The challenges of plastic pollution has continued to grow in tandem with the increase in the use of plastics, necessitating the application of measures to help mitigate the problem by promoting a circular economy.

Speaking at the event, Chukwudi Nwabuisiaku, Assistant Director, Plastics Waste Control at National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) underscored the need to adopt circularity within the plastic value chain.

At the event, Nishio Nahomi, UNIDO Project Manager emphasized the importance of promoting sustainable plastic value chains through circular economy practices for recyclers in Nigeria.

The training event held for plastic manufacturers and recyclers was attended by stakeholders across the plastic value chain in Abuja and other states in northern Nigeria.

The representatives from FBRA’s member companies, Plastic Waste Value Players: Waste pickers, Collectors, Aggregators, Recyclers and Off-takers, UNIDO, NESREA and the Federal Ministry of Environment were also part of the event.

The participants appreciated the training event and said that it would have a major impact on their businesses in the future. It will also contribute to the country’s inclusive and sustainable industrial development, they added.

This comes at a time when Nigeria is estimated to generate about 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. Plastic accounts for 15% of the total waste generated in Lagos State.

Unfortunately, over 88% of the plastic waste generated in Nigeria is not recycled. Instead, much of it ends up in water bodies – rivers, lakes, drains, lagoons and the ocean.

The situation is likely to worsen as Nigeria’s population grows, from more than 220 million people now to an expected 401 million by the end of 2050.

According to a study, water sachets and shopping bags are the major constituents of plastic waste in Nigeria. Educational institutions, markets and households are among the major routes. They are indirect routes of entry of plastic waste, particularly into water bodies in Nigeria.

The sources of plastic waste include tyre wear, cigarette butts and electronic waste (mobile phone components, electronics, electrical appliances).

Others were fishing ropes, biosolids, cosmetics, clothing, food packs, and cellphone bags. Microplastic particles were found in some insects, snails and fish sampled from water bodies as well as in table salt (mostly in Southern Nigeria).

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