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Plastic Recycling Plant ’II Create Jobs – MD

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The new plastic recycling plant unveiled by Total Energies in conjunction with United Nations Institute for Training and Research(UNITAR) will create over 80 jobs, says Mr. Mike Sangster, Managing Director of Total Energies EP Nigeria.
Speaking during the commissioning of the plant on Wednesday in Port Harcourt,  Mr Sangster, said the project came about as a result of finding a sustainable plastic waste management solution for African countries from the Polymers Business Europe branch of  TotalEnergies.
He said Nigeria was selected for the pilot plant due to her large population and the volume of plastic waste generated in the country.
The plastic recycling plant he further revealed will save over 750tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, which is equivalent to planting about 4,500 trees annually.
Sangster said the plant will be run through private partnership method such that an entrepreneur will run it and eventually take full ownership after repaying a part of the investment, adding that the repaid funds would be reinvested .
He said TotalEnergies’ mission is to produce and supply more affordable, more reliable and cleaner energy, to meet the challenge of the 21st century and play an active role in the energy transition drive, by becoming a broad energy company.
He reaffirmed the company’s resolve to produce more energy with less emissions and be more sustainable, while assuring that TotalEnergies and partners will continue to support UNITAR and the entrepreneur for the long-term success of the recycling plant.
“This project is one of several others through which we express our commitment to and long-term partnership with Nigeria. Our CSR initiatives typically target sustainable poverty reduction and job creation through capacity building and infrastructure development.
“We decided that the best way to proceed was to partner with the UNITAR as part of our sustainability strategy. So, while TotalEnergies is the sponsor of the project, the plant itself will be handed over to an entrepreneur who will run it and eventually take full ownership after repaying a part of the investment.
“The recovered part of the investment will be placed in a recycling fund that will be re-invested into similar facilities within our local communities. Our objective is to develop a sustainable model where local entrepreneurs will be empowered, trained and supported to run the business, thereby supporting local enterprise while promoting sustainable waste management in line with the United Nations’ SDGs, Goal12, which calls for sustainable consumption and production patterns.
“We all know how common plastics have become– we see them everywhere.  However, if not properly managed, plastic has great tendency to end up in our rivers or oceans and constitute threat to the environment, especially in developing countries. Prevention at source is vital and recycling best supports the circular economy model.
“In establishing this plant, our vision is to facilitate waste management in Nigeria through economic empowerment, which is in line with our core values as a Company. The pilot plant is fully equipped with sophisticated modern recycling machines and will recycle over 1000 tonnes of waste Polyethylene and Polypropylene per annum.
“Feedstock will be supplied by a network of collectors, waste generated by corporate organisations like TotalEnergies, and from dealers. The final resin pellets produced from various non-toxic waste sources will be sold to plastic converters in Nigeria. The plant will also serve as a training and information centre.”
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor,
challenged the private sector to key into the project and replicate same to tackle marine pollution and plastic wastes on the ocean.
Ikeazor represented by the Director, Pollution Control, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr Olubumi Olusanya, said the government has “created the enabling environment to promote circular economy such as this, for waste reduction, recycling and converting wastes to wealth, through incentives and policies.”
In his remarks,  the Managing Director of NAPIMS, Mr Bala Wunti, assured that the project would give birth to other similar projects, in furtherance of the government’s social investment initiative through the oil and gas sector.
Wunti who spoke through Manager, Efficiency, Mrs Adetutu Olukanmi, said, “Our vision for social interventions is to operate in an ethical and sustainable manner and deal with the environment and social impact occasioned by our activities, hence the approval of various CSR projects by our operators across the country for maximal impact.”
Also, UNITAR Senior Consultant, Dr Lawrence Boms, commended TotalEnergies for having the confidence to partner with them on the project, saying that the project was an evidence of collaboration between the public and private sector.
Consequently, the Nye Nwe Eli of Elelenwo community, Eze Sunny Weli Chukwu has thanked TotalEnergies for sponsoring the and choosing his community as host.
Eze Chukwu assured that there will be no form of disturbance from the host community, saying that all the community wants was developmental programmes and projects that would bring about employment, scholaships, education of their youths.

By: Kevin Nengia

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Environment

Group Advocates End To Plastic Wastes

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Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), an ecology-focused Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called for a drastic reduction in the use of plastics to save planet earth from suffocation.
This was contained in a press release made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt.in reactions to the just concluded World Earth Day celebration.
According to the release signed by Komev Odhomo HOMEF media /communications lead, HOMEF noted that celebrating Earth Day is an annual event designed to shed light on serious environmental problems faced from the climate crisis to air pollution and deforestation.
“World Earth Day reminds us as humans that the Earth is ours to protect and preserve but over time humans have abandoned their roles in protecting the planet because of selfishness and drive for profit.
The International Mother Earth Day’s theme this year ‘Planet vs Plastic’ urges us to build a liveable future for humans, other beings, and natural systems.
We stand united in our fight against non-biodegradable waste pollution.
“Our addiction to single-use plastics suffocates the planet. Plastics can take hundreds of years to decompose, clog our water bodies, and cause harmful impacts as a result of their chemical composition.
“Sadly, the world is literally a plastic civilisation due to a vested interest in hydrocarbons and ease of application, HOMEF said.
It qouted the Executive Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation,  Dr Nnimmo Bassey, as advocating for urgent action to ban the production and usage of single-use plastics.
He further urged action by everyone to be involved in efforts to kick out plastics.
Now is a critical time to choose between planet and plastic. Good sense tells us to choose the planet, our Mother Earth that sustains all lives.
Poor sense driven by profit urges humans to choose plastics because of the ease they bring, despite the harmful impacts on our health, climate, and overall health of the planet.
As we mark World Earth Day 2024, the alarm must be sounded that it is time to uproot plastics from their fossil base or be ready to be turned into plastic humans living plastic lives and heading to an infernal plastic future.  At HOMEF, we are all for the planet, people, and all life forms,” Bassey said.
HOMEF  noted that research has shown that 380 million tonnes of plastic are now produced every year, while only nine percent of plastic ever produced has been recycled. Campaigns around the world calling for a 60 percent reduction in plastic by 2040 are commendable and worthy of support.

At Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), we believe in the intrinsic Rights of Mother Earth and the rights of humans and other beings to be respected and to live in dignity.

It is time to build up courage and to preserve and protect our health, and our livelihoods by embracing alternatives that are sustainable, healthy, and safe for the planet. We must stop all forms of destructive extractive activities in Nigeria, Africa, and the World.

The Planet vs Plastics campaign is a call to arms, a demand that we act now to end the scourge of plastics and safeguard the health of every living being on our planet,” We are submerged in a sea of plastic wastes, from our creeks to the ocean. It’s time we did better!”

 

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Environment

WED:Activists Task Govt On Plastic Pollution, Synophom Ban

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Civil societies and environmental rights activists have tasked governments across the country to find solutions to the issue of plastic pollution.
They also called on  Rivers state and other state governments in the country to ban syrophom as was done in Lagos.
The activists said this while reacting to the theme of the just concluded World Earth Day celebration which held across the world last Monday 22 April,2024.
The theme for this year’s celebration  was”Planet vs Plastic”. According to information on the website of the United Nations Environment Programm( UNEP),  380 million tonnes of plastic are now produced every year,while only 9 percent of plastic ever produced has been recycled.
It was also found that over 5.25 trillion macro and micro process of plastic are lying on the ocean bed
It noted that “The Planet v Plastics campaign is a call to arms, a demand that we act now to end the scourge of plastic pollution
Environmental Right Activists said time has come for the government to either ensure an outright ban on plastic productions or seek for ways of recycling them.
It would be noted that the effects of plastic pollution is being felt by communities across the country
Recently, the Amadi-Ama Community in the Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State raised alarm over the scourge of plastic pollution in its waterways.
According to the community, plastic pollution in its water ways has not only affected aquactic lives but has hampered communication including movement of vessels within its water ways.
Amadi -Ama Community is not alone in this, other communities have also raised concern.
In Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor local government areas, dumping of plastic into drainages were largely blamed for the flooding withnessed annually in the city.
According to respondents ,plastics dumped into drainages by unscrupulous elements always block the free flow of water to the river, thereby causing flooding.
Meanwhile, some Environmental Right Activists have been speaking on the celebration.
According to some of them, solution to plastic pollution must be sought urgently by the Authorities
They urged governments at all levels to embark on a programmes of plastic recycling while also sensitising the public on the dangers associated with indiscriminate dumping of plastics into the environment including water ways.
She also decried the indiscriminate dumping of plastics by residents of Port Harcourt City and Obio Akpor, adding that it contributes to flooding being experienced in the city.
Meju said  the best way to dispose off plastics must be sought out.
Olatunji Olawapo of Sustainability and Climate Literacy particularly urged the Rivers State Government to ban syrophom,a plastic used by food vendors to wrap food for their customers.
He said syrophom does not decay adding it constitute a big environmental nuisance

Olawapo argued that  if Lagos State can banned it, there is no reason why Rivers state cannot do same.

Olawapo also urged for more sensitisation on the effects of plastic pollution the on the environment he said his organisation based in Eagle Island Port Harcourt has been doing a lot in the area of environmental sustainability.

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Environment

South East Businessmen Charge Governors On Rail, Security, Others

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Business community in Se South East has asked governors in the zone to eschew individualism and forge cooperation for the development of the region.
They identified development of the rail system, security, power and roads as areas the states should cooperate, citing what was going on in the South West states.
Some businessmen, who spoke, said only regional cooperation could enable the people of the area to fully benefit from the present enhanced attention some of the states were placing on repositioning and upgrading of infrastructures.
They also said governments and the organised private sector groups in the five states needed to work in synergy.
This comes on the heels of huge investments organisations, like Geometric Power, have thrown into the system in Aba, Abia State, to ensure uninterrupted electricity power supply, the rehabilitation of the Enugu/Port Harcourt expressway, eastern rail lines currently being restored, as well as promises from the Federal Government, to reignite the industrialisation of the zone.
Immediate past president of Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), Jerry Kalu, said there was need to link the major cities in the zone with a rail line, good roads and other infrastructures that will bring them together industrially and provide avenues of assisting one another, in development.
In achieving this, Kalu said private sector organs should always be taken in by governments of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states, in planning their annual, medium and long-term development programmes and budgeting, to accommodate all sectors of the society.
He commended Governor Alex Otti’s administration in Abia, for being the first to ever invite ACCIMA to participate and present the needs and aspirations of the organised private sector for input into the 2024 budget, during the preparations last year.
Former president of Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICIMA), Kevin Obieri, said individualism was the bane of development in the region.
Obieri said such attitude affects everything happening in the South East, noting that even the altruistic ones among the people talk about their community, town or friends instead of collective development of the region.
According to him, the individualistic approach to life also made the South East Governors’ Forum a very weak institution not strong enough to help articulate and pursue an integrated approach to development in the zone in the areas of power, railway and security, industrial concerns and transportation.
“Any railway or road that does not take into consideration its outlet to the sea and the need for our people to evacuate their imports easily into the hinterlands, will always have problems. To get the private sector to support it will be difficult too because the private sector is also looking for its own benefits, what affects it directly.
“It is a very complex situation that needs good leadership, a leadership that plays beyond party and personal levels. A leadership that can look at things in the overall benefit of the region,” he said.
In addition, Obieri called for the decentralisation of the security architecture in Nigeria.
“Let there be clear cut constitutional changes in theory and practice and our people can do more in this regard. People come from Imo State and do kidnapping in Anambra and go back. Without proper cooperation between the South East governors, there will always be problems. Today, you hardly hear Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma and Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo talking because they belong to different parties. Otti is on his own too and this situation is not the best for us,” he said.

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