In Nigeria, more than 2.5 million tons of plastic waste which can easily be transformed into new products like buckets, carpets, duvets, shirts, etc are burnt in open dumps or disposed into waterways annually. In a country where the youth unemployment rate is expected to hit 55%, scaling plastic waste collection for recycling has become paramount in Nigeria.
To address the growing plastic waste menace and build systems that ensure sustainable recovery of these plastic wastes for recycling, the Coca-Cola company, through The Coca-Cola Foundation and in partnership with the Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre launched the CyclePlast project.
The CyclePlast project is designed to leverage the informal sector for scaling PET waste collection across the 6 geopolitical zones, with Ecobarter championing North Central. Over the next 2 years, Ecobarter alongside 5 other recycling companies from the Recyclers Association of Nigeria (RAN) will be working with 990 waste pickers from the informal sector to recover 743 tons of food-grade PET plastic wastes from the environment, post-consumer. Where the informal waste pickers have been shunned in the past despite their enormous contribution to plastic waste recovery in Nigeria, this project will improve their livelihoods, and ensure social security and decent income for them.
We are excited to be a part of this project as it is in line with our goal of making waste-free living possible in Nigeria!