World Environment Day: Nigeria tasks youths on plastic waste investment

Zeniat Abubakar

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The Nigerian government has called on youths in the country to actively participate and invest in plastic waste collection, transportation, waste exchange and collection centres and plastic recycling plants by participating in the Extended Producer Responsibility EPR programme of the Ministry.

The Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor stated this at a webinar on “Youth Response to Plastic Pollution” to commemorate this year’s World Environment Day in Abuja the Nigeria’s capital.

She said Wastepreneurs are developing smart & innovative solutions to tackle plastic waste pollution, and the government, the private sector and development partners must invest in the youth and support them as they are part of the solution.

Policy on solid waste management
The Minister explained that the Ministry has created an enabling environment to harness the opportunities in plastic waste management in Nigeria through the development of a national policy on solid waste management that supports the principle of circular economy to harmonise the roles of the various stakeholders for sustainable waste management.

 “This would also create an enabling environment for waste reduction, sorting at source, reuse, recycling and conversion to energy through incentives, and also provide necessary guidance regarding effective waste management options, technologies and best global environmental practices”, Ikeazor said.

Achieving zero waste society
She however called on youths to respond to the plastic pollution challenge and continue organizing themselves into associations, groups and clubs as a vanguard of change to continually educate the general public and themselves on the negative impacts of plastic pollution and modern management solutions, to quicken their behavioural change from poor to modern waste management practices.

“The Implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility, EPR programme is a framework of action for a collaborative and partnership approach between Government, Business and the larger society towards achieving a zero waste society in the near future”,  she said.

She added that “this will facilitate waste reduction, making waste a resource, encourages recycling efficiency and effective materials recovery, wealth creation and promotion of green jobs. Adequate implementation of the programme will assist industry to shift from linear to closed-cycle manufacturing and efficient take-back schemes for remanufacturing and recycling.

“The theme of the 2021 World Environment Day is ‘Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.”

Pakistan is the global host for the day to highlight the importance of ecosystem restoration this year.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu

 

 

 

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