As plastic vulnerability in Nigeria has become obvious, the regulator of packaging among others, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has announced plans to work with stakeholders in the food and beverage industry to develop a standard that could save Nigeria N1.8tn annually in plastic importation.The regulator said the new standards would improve production processes of plastics and ensure safety and the quality of products, adding that it would also lead to an increase of its use which would provide opportunities for employment rather than expending the nation’s hard-earned resources on importation.
SON said it became necessary to develop a standard following recent coordination by the Federal Ministry of Environment to develop a national policy for the lifecycle of plastics in the country.
The Director-General of SON, Osita Aboloma, was quoted as saying that there had been a lot of demand for the standard for recycled plastics by stakeholders, the private sector and manufacturers.
“The recycling of pet bottle packaging represents one of the most successful and widespread examples of plastic packaging recycling,” he said.
“The growth in collection and processing of pet bottles for food packaging application has been increasing significantly over the last 10 years and has been accomplished by significant investments in plastic recovery facilities and food-grade recycled pet processing.”
According to him, the food and beverage recycling association of Nigeria remains the driving force for the development of this standard.
“Today, we have a draft national policy on lifecycle of plastics with recycling of plastic waste as one of the strategies. The draft policy has been extensively discussed by all relevant stakeholders and it is currently being processed for approval by the relevant government agency,” he added.
He appealed to stakeholders to review the document and design a workable standard that would guide manufacturers, promote trade and assist regulation to guarantee acceptability without compromising the safety of the product and the environment.