The Food & Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) has called for sector specific platforms to drive the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy on waste management.
Clem Ugorji, the Director, Public Affairs and Communication, Coca-Cola West Africa, made the call in a statement to newsmen in Lagos Tuesday.
The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy approach that shifts the cost of waste management or physical collection of wastes partially or fully from the government to producers of wastes.
According to Ugorji, various sectors of the economy can rise to the challenge of establishing sector specific platforms to drive the recovery and recycling of waste items in their respective packaging streams.
FBRA evolved from a self-regulatory initiative that Coca-Cola began in 2005 to set up a large scale recovery and buyback scheme for PET bottles which were recycled into the synthetic fibre, he said, as in 2012, Coca-Cola reached out to other leading beverage companies to form a voluntary group comprising Coca-Cola, Nestle, Nigerian Breweries and Seven-Up Bottling Company.
He said that the group became the nucleus of the FBRA that served as the Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) for the food and beverage sector.
FBRA was presented as a case study at 2nd National Waste Management Conference of how forward-looking industries could collaborate with other stakeholders to develop solutions for mitigating the environmental impact of their activities, according to Ugorgi.
He said that FBRA’s mission was to recover and recycle food and beverage packaging waste to create a sustainable recycling economy that would stimulate employment, innovation and wealth creation.
“One of the great elements of the EPR policy is the requirement for sectoral collective action under the platform of a PRO.
“This will ensure that companies do not struggle in silos to recycle their packaging waste as that will be overwhelming.
“They can pool resources together as a sector to develop and fund a robust buyback scheme, attract investors in recycling infrastructure and invest in research and development of eco-friendly packaging as well as alternative uses for their packaging waste,” Ugorji said.
He stressed that FBRA demonstrated the fact that companies could compete for market share and still cooperate effectively for social good.