NIGERIA – Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment, the Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), have signed a US$2.8 million agreement to support government efforts to develop sustainable plastic waste management in the country.

The initiative is aimed to promote circular economy practices and contribute to inclusive and sustainable industrial development of Nigeria.

The plastic industry is very important to the Nigerian economy and employs thousands of people.

However, the misuse of plastic and poor management of plastic waste poses great dangers to health and the environment.

Tonnes of plastic waste litter the streets, clog up rural and urban drains leading to flooding incidents, contaminate the soil, affecting crop yields and pollute the ocean and other water bodies.

When plastic waste is openly burnt, dioxins and furans are released, increasing public health challenges and greenhouse gas emissions.

Jean Bakole, Director and Representative of UNIDO Nigeria, stated that the project aims to, “develop national and states implementation guidelines for Nigeria’s National Policy on Plastics Waste Management, strengthen recycling value-chains in selected municipalities in Lagos and Federal Capital Territory, and technology demonstration of circular economy and resource efficiency practices.”

Nigeria has been actively positioning itself to deal with the challenges of managing plastic and other solid waste materials.

Two national policies, one on solid waste management (2020) and one on plastics lifecycle management (2020), have been developed with the support of UNIDO.

In 2021, Nigeria joined the multilateral initiative against plastic pollution, the World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), and established a Nigeria Circular Economy Working Group to advance national efforts to address plastic pollution.

Building on the results of UNIDO’s 2021 Study on Plastics Value-Chain in Nigeria, the three-year project will promote circular economy principles and practices, which are to be integrated into effective implementation of plastic waste management.

The project will take a multi-level approach with a wide range of stakeholders and is expected to ensure inclusive and participatory plastic waste management in Nigeria.

Kazuyoshi Matsunaga, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Federal Republic of Nigeria highlighted, “This project is multifaceted, contributing not only to reducing the leakage of plastic waste into the environment, but also to the creation of new economic opportunities.”

The international community has committed to limit plastic pollution through initiatives such as the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, shared during the Japan’s presidency of the G20 in 2019.

The vision aims to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050 through a comprehensive life-cycle approach.

The newly signed project for Nigeria is part of the “Marine Initiative”, launched by Japan, to support the G20’s Vision by advancing effective actions to combat marine plastic litter at a global scale.

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