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Lafarge Manufacturers’ Set To Embrace Sustainable Waste Mgt Initiative

With most of the developed economies embracing Extended Producer Responsibilities (EPR) as a means of achieving a zero-waste society, Lafarge Africa Plc, has emphasized on the need for Nigeria adopt the initiative.

Indeed, EPR is a concept to promote total life cycle environmental improvements of product systems by extending the responsibility of the manufacturers of the product to various parts of the entire life cycle of the product, and especially to the take-back, recycling and final disposal of the product, a model Lafarge says would create value and opportunities for social inclusion and job opportunities in the country.

The Managing Director, Project Management Office and Geocycle, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mrs. Adepeju Adeola, explained that with increase in population, urbanisation and industrialisation as well as globalisation, the challenge of solid waste management in Nigeria has increased and even now complex.

Adeola during a national waste management conference tagged “Developing a sustainable framework to waste management”, said contributory factors to the challenge include inadequate regulatory framework that has manifested in lack of interest of private sector investment in service delivery (infrastructure); uncoordinated institutional functions; low political will, low capacity to discharge of duties, poor data information for planning, wrong attitude of waste generator and the likes.

She pointed out that to address this challenge, EPR would help to reduce waste streams from post-consumer products, to provide clear and measurable targets in terms of prevention, reuse or recycling objectives; and to encourage manufacturing of environmentally friendly products by incorporating waste prevention, reuse and recycling considerations into product designs.

Adeola who was represented by the Head, Geocycle Operations, Lafarge Africa Plc, Daniel Adedokun, said EPR puts responsibility with producer who puts the product on the market with aims to integrate environmental costs associated with goods throughout life cycle into the market price.

She maintained that EPR is an instrument which comes closest to implementing whole life cycle approach such as reducing resource scarcity, diminishing associated environmental impact and promoting product innovation, ensures control by market and authorities and driving the cost of operations downwards.

Today many multinational companies I know have approached Lafarge Africa to support them in co-processing of waste in cement kilns instead of land filling.

There must be alternative methods of waste treatment to drive compliance.

The processes of resource recovery from waste depend upon relatively expensive sophisticated equipment such as hydrolysis, anaerobic injection reactor among others; as such operations of such processes must be integrated to allow the whole value chain of the process to impact upon each unit of the operations processes. We must unlock the potential in waste,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Director General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) represented by the Director Inspection and Enforcement, NESREA, Mrs. Miranda Amachree, said Nigeria must subscribe to EPR, pointing out that the model will go a long way to help Nigeria in terms of resource conservation, pollution prevention, job opportunities, waste avoidance and offer a framework for partnership between the federal government and the private sectors of the economy.

According to her, the agency had met with operators in the electronics, food and beverage sectors to embrace the EPR, maintaining that NESREA had developed operational EPR guidelines.

Most facilities are yet to prepare their EPR plans and are also yet to register. No recycler has been registered by the agency. Waste management bodies must subscribe to the EPR and partner with NESREA in its drive towards achieving a zero waste society,” she added.

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