Saturday 20 April 2024



By: Amb. Valentine Adese (JP), expose

New findings have shown that recycling plastic is not a solution to the current plastic crisis in Nigeria and the world at large.

This was disclosed by IPEN/CFW, a global network forging a healthier world, where people and the environment are no longer harmed by the production, use, and disposal of toxic chemicals, in a press briefing at the NUJ Press Center, Jos Plateau State.

Speaking on the organization’s findings, Mr. Stanley Okwara, IPEN/CFEW Youth Co-Chair and Research Assistant said, recycling has been put forward as a solution to the plastics crisis. However, due to the addition of toxic plastic chemicals (Both the process chemicals and a variety of process contaminants), recycling plastics now means “recycling chemicals”.


Adding that “It constitutes a false solution.

Mr. Stanley suggested that “Three things are urgently needed to protect the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, including a safe and healthy working environment:

1.         The intentional use of toxic chemicals in plastics needs to be eliminated.

2.         The unintentional presence of toxic chemicals in plastics needs to be prevented.

3.         Mandatory requirements for making information about the chemical content of plastics and their hazard information publicly available and accessible.

4.         In addition, mandatory requirements should be put in place to ensure that hazards and other health-related information are communicated to consumers, workers, and the general public.

Mr. Stanley disclosed that, in 2020, CFEW in Nigeria and other NGO groups from 24 countries, visited local, small-scale recycling facilities in their various countries and purchased sample bags of High-Density Polyethyelen (HYPE) pellets, since they are the most commonly used and recycled types of plastics.

He said HDPE is used in the production of a wide range of plastics such as plastic pipes, and plastic lumber for playgrounds, picnic tables, and outdoor patios. Non-food bottles, such as detergent containers, cleaning products, conditioners and shampoos, and children's toys.

He also pointed out that, 28 samples of pellets were analyzed for the presence of the chemical Bisphenol A and several chemicals from the two groups of brominated.

According to him, “The analysis showed that half of the samples (54%) contained 11 or more chemicals and 21 pellets samples contained all three targeted groups of chemicals covered.

“Overall chemicals detected in all the recycled pellets include 6 pesticides, 6 personal care products, and 4 pharmaceuticals, in addition to plastic additives and Industrial chemicals.

“The most commonly detected type of chemicals were pesticides/biocides (162 chemicals) and pharmaceuticals (89 chemicals). None of these chemicals are intentionally added to the plastics but are present as a result of contamination. Only 45 of the chemicals detected are categorized as plastic additives”.    

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