• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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USAID, Coca-Cola launch $4m initiative to tackle plastic waste in Nigeria

USAID, Coca-Cola launch $4m initiative to tackle plastic waste in Nigeria

In a bid to curb plastic waste challenges and save the environment in Nigeria, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Coca-Cola Foundation and TechnoServe Nigeria, has launched the Nigeria Plastic Solutions Activity (NPSA) initiative.

This initiative, funded equally by Coca-Cola and USAID with a combined investment of $4 million, aims to tackle the critical challenge of plastic waste management in Nigeria through innovative recycling solutions.

With an estimated 2.5 million metric tonnes of plastic waste generated annually, plastic pollution has become a pressing environmental concern globally, and Nigeria is no exception.

According to the partners, the primary objective of the Nigeria Plastic Solutions Activity (NPSA) is to recover approximately 49,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste in Nigeria while upscaling the collection capacity of over 24 aggregators and 9,500 collectors.

In addition, the program aims to create over 10,000 green jobs, driving circularity in plastic waste management and promoting a cleaner, healthier environment.

During the launch event, Melissa Jones, USAID Mission Director, said: “In addition to improving the environment, plastic collection, sorting, aggregating, processing and manufacturing offers employment opportunities.

“Small and medium scale enterprises and entry-level and semi-skilled workers particularly stand to benefit from this new value chain.”

The United States Agency for International Development leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help nations progress beyond assistance.

In Nigeria, USAID supports humanitarian assistance, health systems strengthening, transparent and accountable governance, basic education, and a more market-led, trade-friendly economy.

“The Coca‑Cola Foundation places a priority on helping communities become more sustainable by supporting innovative collection and recycling solutions at a local level,” said Saadia Madsbjerg, president of The Coca-Cola Foundation.

“We hope this new program in Nigeria serves as a catalyst to drive increased collection and recycling rates as we collectively work towards a more sustainable society, one community at a time.”

The Coca-Cola Foundation’s mission is to make a difference in communities around the world where it operates and where its employees live and work. According to the Foundation, it supports transformative ideas and institutions that address complex global challenges and that leave a measurable and lasting impact.

Meanwhile, Tokunbo Philip Wahab, the Lagos State commissioner for environment emphasised the necessity of the Nigeria Plastic Solutions Activity (NPSA).

He said: “Our policy and advocacy efforts present a paradigm shift on plastic waste. We can no longer view it as a disposable commodity; rather, it must be regarded as a resource-demanding responsible stewardship.

“We cannot shy away from this responsibility; we must confront it head-on with resolve and determination.”