LAGOS – The Institute of Packaging Nigeria (IOPN) says projected seven per cent growth of the nation’s plastic sub-sector in 10 years will be driven by packaging demands by agricultural and chemical products industries.
Mr Mike Adekola, President of the Institute, told NAN that the plastic projections were deduced from the nation’s aggressive activities in manufacturing, agricultural and chemical production.
According to Adekola, “for these types of goods, plastic materials become handy while the percieved negative impact of the material is being handled by aggressive recycling management.”
NAN reports that in spite of the ongoing government effort in the recycling of plastics, some Nigerians have expressed concerns on the implications of the projected plastic growth to the soil.
They said that it was illogical that Nigeria is encouraging growth of plastic while other emerging economies were de-emphsising the use of it because of its effect on agriculture.
They also argued that Nigeria may be a dumping ground for the plastic materials ban by the developed economies on its negative impact on the soil, environment and health.
But Adekola described the concerns as a general perception that have no specific inference.
“The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) is becoming more active while Consumer Protective Agency and similar Agencies are expected to handle the situation of Nigeria been made a dumping ground,” he said.
He said that the nation’s economy would be affected tremendously if Nigeria tow the line of other countries that banned plastic packaging.
“Nigeria cannot ban plastic packaging at the moment. We need to work more on alternatives in order not to cripple the economy.
“The government should focus on solving other critical problems like unemployment issues,” he said.
He said that while the concerns of some Nigerians on the plastic long term impact on the environment was appreciated, restrictions or ban of plastics packaging would affect the growth of food processing and allied industries.
NAN reports that some African countries like Rwanda, Burundi, have successfully enforced the ban of plastic packaging and replaced it with degradable paper packaging.
Meanwhile, avaliable data showed that Nigeria’s plastics and packaging sub-sector has more than 3,000 companies with a production capacity of over 100,000 tonnes of plastics per year.
A breakdown of the plastic consumption rate showed that Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) products accounts for the bulk demands.
More than 90 per cent of biscuits, dried processed food items, hair care products, dairy products, laundry products and baked goods sold in Nigeria were packaged in plastic.
The National Bureau of Statistics, earlier said plastics and rubber products recorded a growth rate of 23.8 per cent inn 2013 (after the rebasing of the Nigerian GDP in April 2014). (NAN)
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