Speakers: Mrs Inemesit Akpan, Recycle Points
Mrs Inemesit Akpan from Recycle Points, a waste recycling company in Lagos, identified culture, scale and current infrastructure as major problems facing the city’s waste management system. These problems are further complicated by the fact that most Lagos residents are not conscious of adequate waste management practices.
Recycling comes third in a four-part chain for efficient waste management (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repair) and only commences at the end of a product’s marketable life. At this point, a post-consumer lifecycle is triggered, starting from the Scavengers to Waste collector facilities, then recycle plant to Producers. Recycle Points is a “waste recycling and social benefit venture that operates an incentive-based scheme which collects recyclable materials from post consumers and in turn rewards them with “Points” which they can accumulate and use to redeem/shop for household items”.
There are different processes for different materials to recycled and selection of a process can also depend on the desired output. These processes include; Flexing, Bailing, and Pelletizing. Producers utilize these recycled outputs to manufacturing raw materials like fabric, pegs, paper, aluminium ingots etc. Mrs Akpan also spoke about a research proposal to build a school using an aggregate of cement and plastic for building materials.
In the group discussion, sustainable waste management practices, NESREA (National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency) Extended Producer Responsibility and Producer Responsibility Organizations were discussed.
There are plastics termed as ‘non-recyclable’ polluting our environment today and these materials will remain there for untold years to come.