FG stresses need to recycle plastics, not ban use

The federal government Wednesday restated its commitment to ensure that the country does not ban the use of plastic products but ensure they are being recycled for other uses.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Doris Uzoka-Anite, stated this at the official presentation of the new Nestle Pure Life bottles now including 50 per cent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET).

Uzoka-Anite, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Mr. Francis Onuorah, enjoined other organizations to emulate Nestle in the feat, while calling on all stakeholders build the capacity to engage in the recycling process.

According to him, since Nigeria is an oil producing state and plastics are a by-product of fossil fuel, it has economic potential for the country that must not be toiled with.

“We want to encourage plastic recycling because it is our economic potential. We don’t believe in banning plastic use but, recycle it. Our answer to the plastic challenge is to recycling.”

Speaking on the journey towards plastics neutrality and the significance of 50% rPET inclusion in the Nestlé Pure Life bottles, MD/CEO of Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Mr. Wassim, Elhusseini, said, “Since 2018, Nestlé Nigeria has been working with partners to recover as much plastic as we sell, based on a “one tonne in, one tonne out” principle.

Elhussein who was represented by the Manager, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Victoria Uwadoka, said, “In 2021, we started on the step by teaming up with ALEF, to achieve our objective of cutting virgin plastic in our packaging by a third by 2025. Today, we are very proud to be the first to achieve this milestone of 50% rPET inclusion in our water bottles in Nigeria, thanks to the resilience of our team working with ALEF to produce food grade rPET in Nigeria.

Also speaking, the Managing Director of ALEF Recycling Company, Mr. Wissam Ramlawi, said, “This has been a long, rigorous journey for us, working with Nestlé’s technical and quality assurance teams to comply with Nestle’s very demanding standards and procedures. We also had the pleasure of working with regulators and our suppliers to achieve the desired food-grade quality standards for rPET”.

The Category and Marketing Manager, Nestlé Waters, Joy Abdulahi- Johnson said,

“Because of our dedication to rigorous safety processes for all our products, it has taken almost two years of painstaking diligence to launch the new rPET bottle.