Unilever Nigeria Ltd has advocated recycling the plastic waste as a means of boosting local raw materials in the country.

The company’s Managing Director, Carl Cruz, stated this recently at an event held to announce a partnership with Wecyclers on the collection of plastic waste.

He said Unilever Nigeria and Bridges Outcomes Partnerships had entered into a $2m partnership to help social enterprise, Wecyclers, expand the plastic waste collection in Nigeria.

The partnership, set up through an innovative “Development Impact Bond” structured by the French investment bank, Societe Generale, will allow Wecyclers to create hundreds of jobs, scaling up operations that take the plastic waste out of the environment and turn it into raw material for industry.

Unilever Nigeria and Wecyclers have been working together since 2014 as part of Unilever’s “Waste to Wealth” campaign, which helps local organisations work out how to create value and jobs from the reduction, collection, recycling, and reusing of plastic waste.

The partnership includes social, environmental, and financial targets, which will see Wecyclers collect more than 30,000 tonnes of plastic waste over the next five years, create over 700 jobs in recycling franchises across Nigeria, and improve the incomes of thousands of waste sorters.

“This funding is a major step forward for us in our work to ensure plastic waste stays out of the Nigerian environment.

“It shows there is wealth to be made from creating jobs tackling plastics waste. It cleans up the Nigerian environment and it develops a more sustainable financing model for groups like Wecyclers,” Cruz said.

The Managing Director of Wecyclers, Wale Adebiyi, added, “We started with one bicycle and a dream, and through hard work and entrepreneurship, we have built a scalable model that (thanks to this Development Impact Bond) will create hundreds of jobs, and improve the income of thousands of sorters, who will earn 25 per cent more than they do today.”

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