The Federal Executive Council has approved a National Policy on plastic waste management in Nigeria.
The Minister of Environment, Muhammad Mahmood, announced this on Wednesday after the 20th virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mahmood said plastic waste needed to be given attention because it represented the second largest form of waste in the country.
He stressed that plastic could be recycled to produce blocks, new plastics and palettes for the production of interlocks among others.
He added that with the endorsement of a national policy on plastic waste management in Nigeria, a lot of jobs and wealth would be created, saying that “Indonesia is today not only taking care of its plastic but also importing from other countries and making all kinds of product.”
He said the policy would help Nigeria in the fight against climate change, adding that “Every country in the world has made commitment to reduce emission that will help heal the environment from global warming and climate change that we are facing.
“We are reducing pressure on our natural resources by recycling. We are reducing the use of energy because it takes twice as much as energy to process fresh new resource into a product than to recycle a product that has already been produced.”
The minister, who said the Federal Ministry of Environment had constructed a number of Plastic Recycling Plants around the country as a pilot programme, stated that the private sector could take control of the scheme.
Mahmood said: “The Federal Ministry of Environment today presented a memo on the National Policy on plastic waste management in Nigeria.
Recall that about three months ago, we presented a memo on solid waste management and plastic being one of the compositions of total waste, has a significant place in the total waste regime because of its non-biodegradable nature and we have plastics littered all over the place, which is an environmental hazard to both humans and animals.
“What this policy seeks to do is to seize the opportunity of our paradigm shift from linear to circular economy. The standard procedure in the past was, you produce, you use and dispose and we just realised that we cannot continue to do that and plastic has lent itself to recycling or reuse. Therefore, what this policy intends to achieve is to capitalise on that property of it being reused. Currently,” he explained.
The minister, while speaking on the sources of financing, said: “Funding for its implementation will be from every level. First of all, it will come through budgetary allocation of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, donor agencies, our partners from the industries and others.”