The National Environmental
Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has announced its determination to commence the enforcement of
the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy in the first quarter of 2016.
This was disclosed recently by the agency’s Director-General, Dr. Lawrence
Anukam, at a 2-day workshop with stakeholders organized in Lagos to further sensitize
companies in the food and beverage sector, in particular, on the EPR operational guidelines released by the agency last year.
Dr. Anukam said the EPR is “the extension of the responsibility of producers, and all entities involved in the product chain, to
reduce the cradle-to-cradle impacts of a product and its
packaging”. He stressed that the
primary responsibility of EPR lies with the producer, who makes
design and marketing decisions.
He noted that, as a concept and tool, the EPR has become a global best practice operated successfully in several developed
and developing countries to deal with the environmental, social
and economic challenges of
While deploring what he described as the slow response by industries generally to the policy, the Director-General
acknowledged and commended the exemplary commitment to the EPR programme
demonstrated by the Nigerian Beverage Alliance, a growing
coalition of beverage companies founded by Coca-Cola in
collaboration with Nigerian Bottling Company, Nestle Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries and Seven Up Bottling Company.
He said the Alliance is one of only two
Organizations (PROs), along with Resource Renewable Limited,
currently recognized by NESREA as the EPR implementation
platforms for their respective member companies.
“I thank the Nigerian Beverage Alliance for
their contributions towards the hosting of this forum. This is an indication of their commitment towards tackling the waste
problem in the country”, he said.
The Director for Inspection and
Enforcement at NESREA, Mrs Miranda Amachree, who made a presentation on the operational guidelines of the EPR policy, disclosed that the agency has held similar engagements with stakeholders in the automotive and ICT sectors and will continue to avail any opportunity to
further discuss the policy with various sectorial groups as part of its preparatory measures for the policy enforcement.
The Coordinator of the Nigerian Beverage Alliance and Public Affairs & Communications
Director for Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Clem Ugorji, said the
Alliance decided to sponsor the workshop in order to provide the much needed opportunity for NESREA to clarify some grey areas
of the EPR operational guidelines and get feedback from the
sector, so that the agency and the industry can work together to achieve the EPR implementation and enforcement in a non-disruptive manner.
Ugorji presented a case study of the Nigerian Beverage Alliance as a model framework for industry collective action on packaging
waste recycling. The Alliance, he said, evolved from the PET bottle- to-fibre recycling programme
that Coca-Cola pioneered in 2005
in collaboration with Alkem Nigeria Limited and which has recovered and recycled over 1 billion PET bottles.
He explained that Coca-Cola’s three-phase strategy was to first create a proof-point for packaging
recycling in Nigeria which was achieved through the partnership with Alkem; then to build a coalition of beverage companies on recycling, which
was achieved in 2012 under an MOU arrangement with the current members of the Alliance; and ultimately to leverage the industry coalition to build a sustainable nationwide recycling
economy which will now be achieved with the incorporation of the Nigerian Beverage Alliance as a Producer Responsibility
Organization to manage the EPR
initiatives of member companies in the food and beverage sector.
According to Ugorji, the Nigerian Beverage Alliance is proof positive that companies can
compete fiercely in the marketplace and at the same time forge a common front to promote sustainable
environment and communities.
He said that as part of its PRO operations, the Alliance will be
working closely with NESREA and other authorities as well as
players in the recycling value
chain to implement a nationwide campaign on waste to wealth;
boost capacity growth for packaging waste recovery
organisations through various forms of interventions; and also support packaging waste
recycling plants through a win-win buyback scheme.