Environmentalist Calls for Adoption of US, Europe Models to Curb Plastic Pollution
An environmentalist, Mr Adewole Taiwo, has called for the adoption of Deposit Refund Scheme as in Europe and United States, to curb the growing rate of plastic waste pollution in the country.
Taiwo who is also the Executive Director at Recyclepoints, made the call on Tuesday in Lagos.
Deposit Refund Scheme is practiced in some states in the United States and Europe, and it falls under the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), where consumers pay extra small deposits on every plastic product purchased.
It is such that when consumers of the product return the used plastics, they get their deposits back.
It is just like when one buys drinks in glass bottles after making a deposit and one collects the deposit after returning the empty bottles.
The expert said the adoption of Deposit Refund Scheme was practicable in Nigeria and would help address various pollution issues in the environment.
“The Deposit Refund Scheme is overdue in Nigeria and it is the easiest way of getting off plastics from the drainage systems and our waterways.
“With proper implementation of the EPR and waste management policy in Nigeria the Deposit Refund Scheme is very practicable in the country.
“The Deposit Refund Scheme will also help get rid of plastics from our environment and probably reduce wastes by 20 per cent to 25 per cent if well positioned.
“It is more or less industries-driven, it is the responsibility of producers to make sure their products do not end up damaging the environment,” he explained.
Taiwo said that the scheme should be industries-driven, and producers should set up drop-off centres that would be easily accessible by consumers to return their plastics and get incentives for doing so.
He said that the introduction of incentives for the return of plastic products would encourage more Nigerians to participate in the scheme.
“The scheme is already being practiced indirectly in Nigeria through various recycling companies in the country, who gives incentives to people who bring recyclables to them and get cash rewards or other gift items for bringing their plastics to the recycling hub.
“The Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources had come up already with recycling banks where people go to deposit their plastics and flexibles such as nylon bags and get rewarded.
“It is a private initiative to mop up plastic wastes and reuse such plastic wastes in production.
“In doing this, employment opportunities will be created because the deposit centres are usually manned by minimum of two people.
“The funding is completely carried out by the producers to take charge of their end-of-life products and responsibility to the environment.
“It would also create raw materials for local industries instead of exploring virgin materials,” Taiwo said.