24 June 2019, Lagos, Nigeria - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Total E&P Nigeria Limited have signed an agreement to promote plastic recycling in Nigeria. This is in view of the present challenges of plastic wastes pollution in Nigeria.
The agreement, which was recently signed in Lagos, includes the setting up of a pilot plastic recycling plant which will be operated by indigenous plastics recyclers selected from Total E&P host communities, with grants provided by Total E&P as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility.
In his speech at the signing ceremony, Managing Director of Total E&P Nigeria Limited, Mr. Nicolas Terraz, represented by the Executive General Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Mr Vincent Nnadi said, “We expect that this project will bring a turnaround to the Nigerian recycling sector and also create employment at every step of the value chain.”
In his response, Country Head & Resident Representative of UNITAR, Lawrence Boms pointed out that, “This is not the first time we’ve been in partnership with Total. We know the Sustainable Development Goals are not done on paper; you have to do practical things to create employability; and do something to save the planet. That is why we are really interested and happy to partner with Total this time again.”
When it finally kicks off, it is expected that the project will help: reduce plastic pollution and contribute to promotion of a clean environment; help create jobs; promote plastic wastes reuse; induce research; and unbundle opportunities to small and medium scale enterprises.
In order to ensure that it is sustainable, selection of beneficiaries to manage the recycling plant will be based on carefully determined criteria such as: source and reliability of feedstock; technical capability; ability to engage community; skills in marketing; effectiveness in time management; ability to train others; and effective management of resources, among other factors.
In addition to the grants being provided by Total E&P for the pilot project, additional grants contributed to the project would be placed in an account which will be managed by UNITAR. With the pilot project being set up in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, it is expected that the project will be replicated in other places in Nigeria and countries in Africa which face the same challenges as Nigeria.