USAID, foundation launch environmental conservation programme

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with The Coca-Cola Foundation, yesterday announced the launch of the Nigeria Plastic Solutions Activity (NPSA).

This impactful initiative, funded equally by the duo with a combined investment of $4 million, tackles the critical challenge of plastic waste management in Nigeria through innovative recycling solutions.

Plastic pollution has become a pressing environmental concern globally and in Nigeria, with an estimated 2.5 million metric tons of plastic waste generated annually; there is an urgent need for concerted efforts to mitigate its impact on the environment and public health.

They said the primary objective of the NPSA is to recover approximately 49,000 metric tons 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.

At the launch event, USAID Mission Director, Melissa Jones, 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.”

U.S. Consul General, Will Stevens noted the U.S. Government’s commitment to the new project.

“By incentivising recycling as a means of averting plastic pollution, we protect the planet, create jobs, empower youth and other marginalized groups, and foster sustainable development. We must persist in collaborating, innovating, and implementing solutions to address this urgent issue.
Together, we can build a future where plastics are no longer a threat to our planet, but a valuable resource managed responsibly and utilized for the benefit of future generations,” he said.

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

Delivering the keynote address, Commissioner of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo 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.”

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