There is growing concern around the quantity of plastic waste entering the natural environment, harming wildlife and damaging ecosystems globally. It is estimated that 70% of all ocean litter is plastic. The environmental impact is so enormous that the United Nations (UN) has described it as a planetary crisis that is causing irreparable damage. In Nigeria, we see the problem growing all around us. Due to the increasing usage and indiscriminate disposal of single-use plastics, we are witnessing a surge in plastic waste pollution. Nigeria generates more than 32 million metric tonnes of waste annually with Lagos alone producing about 10,000 metric tonnes of waste daily, most of which end up in landfills and in waterways, exacerbating health challenges and environmental hazards. Tackling this plastics situation is an urgent priority which requires multisector collaboration.

L-R: Rabie Issa, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Waters Nigeria; Mauricio Alarcón, MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria; Olawale Adebiyi MD Wecyclers, Bolanle Olowu, Head Business Development, Wecyclers; Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Nestlé Nigeria.

Nestlé is committed to working together with governments, NGOs and the other private sector and industry stakeholders to develop a circular plastic economy, where plastic is collected, recycled and reused efficiently. The company is a founding member of the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) whose mission is to build a self-sustaining recycling economy around post-consumer packaging waste in order to stimulate employment, wealth creation and innovation.

In addition to this, Nestlé has today, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Wecyclers, a social enterprise that helps households in low-income communities capture value from their waste, to accelerate the process of recovering and recycling post-consumption plastic packaging waste in Lagos State. The agreement enables Wecyclers to extend plastics waste recovery systems to more communities through the establishment of collection points across 5 more communities. The project will also help to create 40 direct jobs for collection point operators and sorters, and empower an additional 15,000 Wecylcer subscribers.

Mauricio Alarcón, MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria

Speaking at the signing, Mauricio Alarcon, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Nigeria said, “One of our ambitions at Nestlé is to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations as we strive towards a waste-free future. A key part of achieving this goal is to make 100% of our packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025. Another important element is our vision that none of our product packaging, including plastics, should end up in landfills or as litter in our environment, in our seas, oceans, and waterways. Tackling plastic pollution is an urgent priority which requires multisector collaboration, so this MOU with Wecyclers is another step towards achieving our shared objectives of a waste-free future and building thriving communities.”

“In line with the belief that producers and consumers need to change behavior and habits to manage the menace, we are taking actions with other industry members of FBRA and are also engaging our people, our consumers, and business partners to play their part in tackling the plastics problem. At Nestlé, we are passionate about protecting the environment where we work and take action to protect and improve it.”

L-R: Mauricio Alarcón, MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria; Olawale Adebiyi MD Wecyclers, Bolanle Olowu, Head Business Development, Wecyclers; Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Nestlé Nigeria.

Olawale Adebiyi, CEO of Wecyclers said “This partnership is an avenue to extend the plastics collection and recycling process by setting up more collection sites across Lagos. We are indeed pleased to partner with Nestlé to achieve our objectives of helping to create a plastics recycling ecosystem in Nigeria. We are also happy that in addition to tackling the plastics menace, the project will also help to create 40 direct jobs for collection point operators and sorters while empowering an additional 15,000 Wecyclers subscribers.”

The Recycling exchange programme since its inception in 2018, has diverted over 400tonnes of plastics from the landfills into productive reuse. Wecyclers will handle the construction and deployment of each recycling kiosk, with coverage areas including Ajah, Ikeja, Mushin, Lagos Island, and Magodo.

L-R: Bode Ayeku, Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Nestlé Nigeria; Kemisola Ajasa, Regional Regulatory & Scientific Affairs, Nestlé Nigeria; Rabie Issa, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Waters Nigeria; Mauricio Alarcón, MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria; Olawale Adebiyi MD Wecyclers, Bolanle Olowu, Head Business Development, Wecyclers; Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Nestlé Nigeria.

Rabie Issa, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Waters Nigeria; Mauricio Alarcón, MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria; Olawale Adebiyi MD Wecyclers, Bolanle Olowu, Head Business Development, Wecyclers;Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Nestlé Nigeria.

See the MD/CEOs speech below

Good morning and welcome to Nestlé Nigeria PLC.

I am delighted that you have joined us today for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Nestlé Nigeria PLC and Wecyclers on Environmental Sustainability.

Plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today with the growing volume of plastic waste entering the natural environment, harming wildlife and damaging ecosystems globally.  Due to the increasing usage and indiscriminate disposal of single-use plastics, we are witnessing a surge in plastic waste pollution right here in our immediate environment.

Nigeria generates more than 32 million metric tonnes of waste annually with Lagos alone producing about 10,000 metric tonnes of waste daily, most of which end up in landfills and in waterways, exacerbating health challenges and environmental hazards. Tackling this problem is an urgent priority which requires multisector collaboration.

Our vision is that none of our product packaging, including plastics, should end up in landfills or as litter in our environment, in our seas, oceans, and waterways.

An important element to achieving this vision is our ambition to make 100% of our packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025.

To this end, Nestlé last week inaugurated the Institute of Packaging Sciences in Switzerland, the first-of-its-kind in the food industry. This Institute will enable Nestlé to accelerate its efforts to bring functional, safe and environmentally friendly packaging solutions to the market and to address the global challenge of plastic packaging waste. Between 2020 and 2025, Nestlé will phase out all plastics that are not recyclable or are hard to recycle for all its products worldwide.

Our longer-term ambition is to stop plastic leakage into the environment in order to avoid further accumulation of plastics in nature while also achieving plastic neutrality.

Nestlé is committed to working together with governments, NGOs and the other private sector and industry stakeholders to develop a circular plastic economy, where plastic is collected, sorted, recycled and reused efficiently.

Today, we are signing this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Wecyclers, to accelerate the process of recovering and recycling post-consumption plastic packaging waste in Lagos State by extending plastics waste recovery systems to more communities.

The project will also help create 40 direct jobs for collection point operators and sorters, and empower an additional 15,000 individuals.

Nestlé is also a founding member of the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) in Nigeria, whose mission is to build a self-sustaining recycling economy around post-consumer packaging waste in order to stimulate employment, wealth creation, and innovation.

We are passionate about protecting the environment where we work and will continue to take positive action to improve it.

Thank you!

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