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Expert calls for enforcement of EPR policy to boost recycling

A recycling expert, Mr Adewole Taiwo, has called for the enforcement of the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) policy to boost recycling business in Nigeria.

Waste recycling
Industrial waste recycling process

Taiwo, an Executive Director at Recyclepoints, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 in Lagos.

The expert said it was necessary for the government at all levels to ensure the enforcement of the EPR if recycling business would thrive in the country.

In the field of waste management, the EPR is a strategy to add all environmental costs associated with a product throughout the product life cycle to the market price of the product.

Taiwo said the recycling activities in Nigeria was quite low and the informal sector controlled 80 per cent of the market.

The director said that the government needed to pay attention to the informal sector.

“The formal recyclers still rely on the informal sector to meet up their demand, I believe a full implementation of EPR will boost recycling in Nigeria.

“If the EPR policy is fully activated and implemented at state and national level, this will help push recycling business forward in the country.

“It is important that the government enforces full implementation of the EPR and provide incentives that would drive the recycling industry to greater heights.

“There is a policy already that addresses recycling and recyclables; the EPR policy which is meant to drive the recycling initiatives nationwide but the problem is improper implementation,” Taiwo said.

The expert encouraged more people to tap into the recycling business sector owing to its viability as he called for more responsibility on the part of producers of recyclables.

“Most producers of these recyclable items are just on holiday making money pushing out more production without provision for collection or buy back.

“There are only a few of these recyclable producers that are members of the Food and Beverages Recycling Alliance.

“Recycling is a lucrative job and the space is not yet fully occupied, this is the best time to come in. There are, indeed, many value chains in the business.

“However to succeed in the recycling business sector, you have to bring in innovation and idea of driving collections.

“For young graduates seeking employment, there are many ways of getting involved in recycling, they can first start as interns, learn on the job and there are many value chains in the recycling business,” Taiwo said.

He also spoke on growth witnessed in the recycling sector during the COVID-19 lockdown period as many people were encouraged to pick up recycling.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of household took time to understand recycling and embarked on waste sorting.

“Some corporate bodies also encouraged their staff to embark on waste sorting because they engaged on corporate recycling at their organization’s level,” he said.

By Mercy Omoike

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