Luther Kington Nwobodo, researcher and CEO of Zeugnis International, has said that recycling of PET bottles and nylon is a gold mine.
In an interview with Start-Up Digest, he said the country has the capacity to produce more millionaires if the citizens can understand the opportunity in the business.
“The business of PET recycling is very lucrative and the return on investment is over 100 percent,” he said.
Recycling is the process of converting waste objects into new materials. This big business is not yet popular in Nigeria as it is mainly done by few foreigners and multinationals.
Nigeria’s population is almost 200 million. The country’s citizens drink bottled water worth N938.6 billion annually, according to a report by Euromonitor International.
The tendency to spend many hours in traffic in major Nigerian cities has also driven the growth of the industry.
The population of Nigeria is booming, and infrastructure and services are failing to keep up with the growth. Mismanagement of the public water system has compounded the problem, leading to warnings of a looming water crisis in Nigeria, especially Lagos.
Over 63 million Nigerians have no choice but to get water from wherever they can, while 57 million Nigerians don’t have access to safe water, according to Wateraid.
The water needs of Lagos are put at over 700 million gallons per day. The state has capacity of a little over 200 million gallons per day, but actually produces and distributes between 145 to 150 million gallons each day from its facilities, leaving a huge gap of over 500 million gallons.
But this has created enormous opportunities as water is bottled in PET bottles.
The major area of this opportunity is recycling. Hence it is now possible to recycle these bottles and even nylon into more advanced products for industrial use.
Only few entrepreneurs have studied the business and want Nigerians to get more involved.
Zeugnis International Limited is organising a training session for Nigerians of all ages about the potential in PET plastic bottle and nylon recycling.
The training will take place on 14th March at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ikeja.
Nwobodo told said that after the training, Nigerians would be confident of going into the recycling business.
“PET bottles are littered everywhere and I felt that someone had to find solutions with them,” he said.
“I went to a dump site, stayed there for six months, learned plastics and its different types and I was able to see the gold in it. It is a goldmine, but many people do not know,” he explained.
He further said that recycling is a going trend and the opportunity is so huge that there are only three major participants in it.
“Ninety percent of our plastics are not recycled, unlike in Sweden where 95 percent are recycled. In fact, government will even pay you to bring PET bottled in that country,” he disclosed.
He stated that Nigerians need to learn and re-learn about plastics as it is capable of cutting down 23.1 percent unemployment rate in the country.
He said that participants in the training will have direct contacts of proven local and international vendors and could have access to funds/free export financing.
“They could also get on-the-spot demand-supply business deals,” he said.
He said Nigerians should begin to explore opportunities in recycling to lift many out of poverty, urging those who wish to avoid wasting resources in machine sourcing to attend the training.