The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has called on Nigerian manufacturers and consumers to embrace the culture of sustainable consumption.
This call was made by the Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, FCCPC, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, at a one-day stakeholders’ workshop on National Sustainable Consumption and Waste Management in Nigeria, which was held in Lagos last Tuesday.
Irukera noted that the sustainable consumption initiative was borne out of a decision reached by stakeholders during the 2020 World Consumer Rights Day.
“About two years ago, FCCPC and an alliance of food and beverage companies that sell their products using plastics came together on the consumers’ right day.
“They decided that we should set up a task force that will address the question of sustainable consumption. They have been working for the past two years and they have come up with an action plan,” he stated.
The FCCPC boss said that the advocacy aspect involved engaging consumers more on handling waste generally, particularly plastic, which does not decompose as well as managing it in a manner that promotes recycling and saves the environment.
According to him, “The level of plastic waste management in the country is high and we have a big problem with that. Although not as high as in other parts of the world, we are talking about a particular waste here, which is plastic and it is non-degradable.”
“We also need to find more cost-effective ways of distributing products and at the same time get consumers to be sensitive to their habits.”
Acting Chairman of the FCCPC Sustainable Consumption Taskforce, Mr. Chris Wulff-Caesar, said the action plan would be for the next five to 10 years.
He said the action plan would allow manufacturers, consumers, civil society groups, and recyclers, all to work within a framework that ensures sustainable process, especially with the emphasis on disposing of plastic waste.
“To ensure sustainable consumption, we need to change our behaviour on what we do as consumers, manufacturers, recyclers, and civil society groups,” he added.
Also speaking, Agharese Onaghise, Executive Secretary of Food and Beverage Recycle Alliance, stated: “It’s very critical for us in Nigeria to promote behavioural change for people to understand that the packaging material can be collected effectively so that it can be recycled effectively.
“We also support policy-driven dialogue. When it comes to waste management in the country; we need to implement an integrated approach.
“This is because we know that a lot of us also consume products and these products have packaging materials. How do we dispose of them?
“If we segregate at the source, it would go a long way in ensuring an effective collective system so that effectively we can recycle and also manage the waste that comes out of the product.”