Recycling Of Post Consumer Packaging Waste In Nigeria

<p style="text-align: justify;">Nigeria has a vast array of waste management potentials, especially within mega cities such as Lagos, with a growing population that is exponential to the daily waste generation per capita.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">A recent study estimated a volume of over 16,000 tonnes of waste collected daily in Lagos (2019). There is an urgent need to manage the generated waste efficiently.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) was set up as the Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) for the industry to enhance the recovery of post-consumer packaging waste in Nigeria. It was registered in March 2018 as a Non-Governmental Organization in compliance with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for manufacturers to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products, including their end-of-life use.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Here twenty- nine member companies are proactive in funding initiatives that enhance the recovery of packaging product waste in the environment as part of their buy-back schemes. This Industry Coalition has executed several initiatives since its inception, with a total of 37,000 metric tons of recyclables recovered from the environment.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Achievements</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Some highlights of achievements include:</p><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li>Engaging in thought leadership dialogues on recycling</li><li>Leading to the adoption of the rPET standard by SON</li><li>Engagement with the Federal Ministry of Environment on the National Plastic Policy</li><li>Working with State Governments to implement an effective policy implementation on waste management</li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">FBRA has impacted 100 communities through awareness campaigns and has a strategic partnership with nineteen waste collectors across ten States in Nigeria to recover post-consumer packaging waste effectively. The established partnerships with Lagos State for the clean-up of the waterways and the waste-to-energy co-processing system of non-recyclable waste as refuse-derived fuel for cement processing with Lafarge through emissions reduction are geared towards the Alliance's set goals.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">As the driver for implementing the EPR program in the industry, FBRA continues to set the pace for effective waste recovery activities toward attaining a circular economy in Nigeria. This goal is being achieved through the members who are forward-thinking, responsible, and committed to the program's sustainability.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Agharese Onaghise</a></em></span><br />&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Agharese Onaghise</span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. How can we reduce post-consumer waste?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Post-consumer waste can be reduced by:</span></p><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Sensitizing consumers to refuse to package as often as possible</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Rethinking packaging of products during purchase to make choices of sustainable packaging </span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Reuse packaging material from products to give the packaging multiple life spans until it cannot be used again</span></li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. What is the future of rPET, and why is it sustainable?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">The future of recycled PET (rPET) is viable because using recycled material as a resource for the new industry is becoming more lucrative. The development of an rPET industry will drive the demand for feedstock of waste PET material, especially post-consumer material.</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Therefore, more material will need to be supplied to the rPET industry to feed into the stream based on the capacity of the machines to process into rPET. </span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Global commitments require organizations to use a ratio of recycled content in their production, which would drive manufacturers to become off-takers of the rPET industry, creating a ready market for rPET. This is one of the effective and sustainable ways to promote and drive a circular economy of the PET waste stream as an outcome of the used beverage containers/packaging waste; therefore, this waste can serve as revenue for all relevant stakeholders, including the consumers.</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What are some examples of circular economy initiatives?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Some examples of circular economy initiatives include:</span></p><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Used Beverage Cartons (TetraPak) material for Polyboards used to make household furniture; table desks and chairs for schools, panel boards, and indoor waste bins</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Use of waste PET to make interlocking tiles, fiber for clothes, and ultimately waste PET bottles for rPET to put back into the production of bottles</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Use of pure water sachet (water pouches made from LDPE material) woven to make bags, clothes, bookcases, etc.</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Use of waste bottles to make flower vases and other ornaments </span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Use of flexible plastic material such as shrink wraps and LDPE to make bin bags</span></li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What are the benefits and risks of EPR?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Benefits</span></strong></p><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Provides a framework to regulate producers'/manufacturers' responsibilities for their packaging material</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Ensures that all relevant stakeholders in the value chain play a role in protecting the environment</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Provides a guide for pricing of polluters' pay principles</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Creates a bridge between the private and public sectors to work together toward sustainable packaging</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Establishes roles and responsibilities for the waste value chain</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Provides an opportunity to develop a green economy through different initiatives that promote innovation and creativity</span></li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Risks</span></strong></p><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Creates a system if not well managed, may not be sustainable for the economy</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Creates a platform for free-riding of organizations that do not sign in to the program</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">If EPR is not well regulated and enforced, it may not be successful, as only a few organizations will partner with the PRO</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">It may bring unhealthy competition and disunity among producers or manufacturers</span></li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Agharese Onaghise

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