THE Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with critical stakeholders, has developed a national strategy for the phasing out of non-bio degradable plastics, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday.
Osinbajo, at an event to mark the 2018 World Environment Day at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the ministry was working in partnership with the state governments to develop a national plastic waste recycling programme.
It will involve the establishment of recycling plants across Nigeria.
According to him, eight of the plastic waste recycling plants have been completed and handed over to the states. Eighteen others were in various stages of completion.
“In addition, the Federal Government is also collaborating with the state governments to establish plastic waste recycling plants under the community-based waste management programme in the ministry,” he said.
The vice president said two plants have been completed in Ilorin, Kwara State; one in Lokoja, Kogi State and work was ongoing on another in Karu Local Government Area of Nassarawa State – all in Northcentral geopolitical zone.
He said there were two privately-run plastic recycling plants in Gombe and Kano states.
Osinbajo said questions have been raised about limited options for cheap packaging of food and drinks, especially where consumers are relatively poor; micro marketing methods of fast moving consumer goods in sachets; and the retailing of detergents also in sachets.
He challenged multi-national corporations that produce fast-moving goods in plastics to take action towards managing plastic wastes.
“It is my view that for controlling the proliferation of plastic sachets, we must go back to the major producers of fast-moving goods to put in place recycling programmes that could effectively ensure that while we seek environmentally-friendly options for packaging, we are keeping the environment as free of plastics as possible,” he said.
Osinbajo said that Nigeria expects multi-nationals like Coca Cola, which has committed to collecting and recycling the equivalent of all drink containers it ships, including 110 billion plastic bottles; and Unilever and Procter and Gamble, which have begun recycled plastics; would make and fulfill the same pledges in Nigeria.
He also called on the multinationals to partner with governments at the states and local governments “to ensure that we maintain the critical balance between economic growth and a safe and livable environment.”
“Nigeria is in a good place to lead Africa and indeed the world in beating plastic pollution,” Osinbajo said.
He pointed out that there are a good number of effective initiatives that are being considered towards develop policies.
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who was represented by Senator Victor Umeh, said the Senate would continue to support the Ministry of Environment “by providing robust laws that would ensure healthy and sustainable environment.”
Minister of State for Environment Ibrahim Jibrin said the ministry has done quite a lot in the area of pollution and waste management.
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