The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has teamed up with The Coca-Cola Foundation to address the plastic waste problem in Nigeria. 

The two parties launched the Nigeria Plastic Solutions Activity (NPSA), a $4m initiative funded equally by both organisations, the Guardian Nigeria reported. 

The initiative aims to introduce innovative recycling solutions to manage the country’s plastic waste. 

USAID mission director Melissa Jones was quoted as saying: “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 semiskilled workers particularly stand to benefit from this new value chain.” 

Nigeria reportedly generates an estimated 2.5 million tonnes (t) of plastic waste annually.  

The NPSA initiative is designed to recover approximately 49,000t of plastic waste in the country. 

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It also aims to enhance the operational capabilities of more than 24 aggregators and 9,500 collectors.  

In addition, the programme aims to foster the creation of more than 10,000 green jobs and drive circularity in domestic plastic waste management.

Nigeria Lagos Environment Commissioner Tokunbo Philip Wahab 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.” 

In January this year, the state government of Lagos implemented an immediate ban on the use and distribution of polystyrene and other single-use plastics, citing significant environmental concerns.