NIGERIA – The Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) of Nigeria has emphasised on waste recycling especially of food and beverage packaging as a key step in realising environmental preservation, reports Beverage Industry News.

Speaking during a stakeholders Forum of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), FBRA Vice Chairman, Adekunle Olusuyi, said that the alliance has been focusing on creating emphasis on awareness of separation and recycling of waste.

He said that packaging material especially those made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) should be largely recycled in order to minimise environmental pollution.

Additionally, Adekunle said that FBRA participation in the summit reveals the Alliance’s commitment to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy of government.

The aim is to help build a sustainable healthy environment that leads to business growth.

“We are looking at the entire packaging lifecycle – from how bottles and cans are designed and made, to how they are recycled and repurposed.

We want to reduce the waste we generate as much as possible, encourage recycling, and our initiatives in this regard have been well tailored in achieving tangible results along with our partners,” he stated.

The forum, under the theme: “Circular Economy and Environmental Governance”, provided a platform for in-depth deliberations on environmental issues focusing on critical factors in attaining sustainable development in the country’s development agenda.

During the forum, stakeholders were able to highlight waste-to-wealth initiatives, review progress in the implementation of the EPR programme, strengthens policies and regulations.

This would enabled establishment of national standards for recycling of food grade packaging waste materials.

The discussions also sought to determine how Producer Responsibility Organisations (PRO) can contribute to waste management for a healthy environment, recycling roles, among others.

A recent survey revealed that the volume of post-consumer PET waste is over 800,000 tonnes, thus requiring participation.

He therefore called on all stakeholders at the various stages to drive a robust circular economy.

“The various roles in waste management start from waste separation, collection, to separation, transportation, shredding at the recycling plants, production of other products and re-use,” he said

Olusuyi added that the different stages of waste management would create different jobs either directly or indirectly.

He, therefore, urged other companies in the food and beverage sector to be part of the Alliance, which has sworn to protect the environment and help make the world packaging problem a thing of the past.

FBRA was founded in 2013 by a group of companies as a self-regulatory initiative for the recycling of used PET bottles into synthetic fibre.

Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, The Coca-Cola Company Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc are among other multinational companies involved.