In line with its goal to address the challenge of waste management through the provision of a rewards-for-recycling model, Wecyclers has partnered leading consumer goods company, Unilever to introduce the Wecyclers Recycling Exchange in Nigeria.
The Recycling Exchange is an innovative response to meet the rising needs of individuals and organizations who want to recycle plastic waste at their convenience.
Through the initiative, Wecyclers in partnership with Unilever, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Cleaner Lagos Project, will open recyclable collection points in five locations across the state with the target of taking up to 10 tons of recyclable waste per day.
Speaking at the launch of the Iyana-Ipaja waste collection centre, the Co-founder, Wecyclers Nigeria Limited, Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola said that Nigeria is not immune to the global challenge of waste management.
Every year, over 8million metric tons of plastic ends up in our oceans. Consequently, plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals, as well as millions of birds and fishes.
She said, “This situation calls for urgent measures to be taken as solutions to the problems. The Recycling Exchange is a demonstration of our commitment to addressing the imminent environmental impact of waste management in Nigeria.”
Bilikiss further added that the model deployed in Iyana-Ipaja, Ikorodu, Orile, Lekki and Ajah has been specially designed as an affordable waste management infrastructure for people to embrace the environmentally friendly habit of recycling their waste.
“Through this platform households are given a chance to generate value from their waste and provide a reliable supply of raw material to the local recycling industry.” She said.
Speaking on his part the Vice President, Unilever Supply Chain West Africa, Siddharth Ramaswamy, said that it is time for all hands to be on deck to rethink waste management.
The root causes of waste management are complex, but it is clear that urgent action is needed on multiple fronts.
One area of direct concern for Unilever is the fact that just 14% of the plastic packaging used globally makes its way to recycling plants, a third is left in fragile ecosystems and 40% ends up in a landfill.
On her part, the Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business Director, Unilever Ghana and Nigeria, Soromidayo George said, “In line with our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), we believe that taking little actions like this Recycling Exchange Model of waste management will enable us to move towards a more circular economy, so that more plastic packaging has the best possible opportunity to be reused or recycled.”
She added that since 2014 till date, Unilever Nigeria has achieved a Zero Waste to Landfill target set to decouple its environmental footprint from the business growth while increasing positive social impact.
Working with its partners, Wecyclers is committed to run this pilot phase successfully in the five locations in Lagos in the first year, while exploring strategic thrust to expand operations within Lagos and Ultimately pan Nigeria in 24 months.