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Collaboration between EU and FG to Address Environmental Waste Issue

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An announcement was made by the European Union on Wednesday regarding its partnership with the Federal Government to combat environmental waste.

During an event in Abuja to observe this year’s International Zero Waste Day with the theme “Beat Waste,” Deputy Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Zissimos Vergos, emphasized the importance of preventing waste creation from the beginning.

The focus on ‘Beating Waste’ this year underscores the urgent need to prevent waste generation and emphasizes the significance of enhancing waste management practices worldwide to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns.

It was highlighted that humanity produces between 2.1 billion and 2.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste annually. However, the global waste management infrastructure is insufficient, with 2.7 billion individuals lacking access to proper waste collection services and only about 60% of municipal solid waste being adequately managed in controlled facilities.

Zissimos pointed out that waste pollution not only poses a significant threat to human well-being and economic prosperity but also contributes to the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, as well as pollution.

He emphasized that without immediate action, the annual municipal solid waste production could reach 3.8 billion tonnes by 2050.

“Recognizing this critical challenge, the European Union launched the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency, led by the EU and UNIDO, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme, and involving Nigeria as well. This initiative aims at fostering international cooperation to address plastic pollution, especially in marine environments.

“This collaboration led us to partner with the Federal Ministry of Environment, currently co-chairing the Nigeria Circular Economy Working Group alongside UNIDO. The group brings together key stakeholders to enhance the implementation of circular economy policies and practices at both national and sub-national levels, to promote inclusive and sustainable growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Our contributions and achievements include working on the 2021 National Policy on Waste Battery Management, supporting NESREA on the 2023 National Environmental (Plastic Waste Control) Regulations, and the upcoming launch of the National Circular Economy Roadmap,” he further added.

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