AN environmental expert, Mr Taiwo Adewole has called for the provision of an enabling environment for recycling businesses to curb plastic pollution in the country.
Adewole, who made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos, also called on the Federal Government to effect plastic pollution policies.
He said that there were no better alternatives in addressing plastic pollution in Nigeria than increased recycling activities.
“There is really no alternative to plastic pollution in the country than to have a better collection system, we should take back from the system all plastics for 100 per cent recycling.
“To ensure effective recycling activities in the country, the government needs to create an enabling environment for those involved in recycling.
“The government should also compel producers of plastic to stick to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies and provide incentives for the recycling sector.
“The recycling productivity level in the formal sector is quite low while the informal sector is the ones taking the lion share of the business.
“The major challenges we face in the sector has to do with poor logistics, and lack of awareness on the viability of the recycling business,” he said.
Adewole also blamed the slow pace of recycling activities in the country to lack of awareness on the potential and lucrative nature of the business.
“Every drainage across the country today is loaded with plastics even on our roads, why are people not taking advantage of our increasing plastic pollution to recycle?
“It is because most people are not aware they could earn incentives from it, this is where the producers have a role to play by informing consumers on buyback or deposit schemes.
“We can also encourage our youths to be actively involved in recycling ventures by providing them with incentives, but I am against child labour all in the name of recycling,” Adewole said.
The expert said that the replacement of plastic bottles with aluminium bottles to reduce plastic pollution would be futile if “we do not embark on recycling’’.
“The big question is that is the new aluminium water bottles better than plastic water bottles. I personally believe that single-use is single-use.
“Aluminium production is very environmentally damaging. Is there a study showing aluminium water bottles are better than its plastic counterpart?
“I raised the questions because I see both plastics and aluminium as a single-use. But in terms of quantity, we have more plastics out there, so the best bet is to encourage more of recycling.
“The comparison we should focus on is looking at that word ‘single-use’ and aluminium is harder to recycle in comparison to plastics, environmentally wise,” he said. (NAN)
– Feb. 18, 2020 @ 13:25 GMT |