Nigeria Climate Innovation Center challenges green tax proposal

…Pushes circular economy economy for plastic waste management

By Juliet Umeh

Nigeria faces a mounting challenge especially with plastic waste pollution.
This plastic plagues ecosystems, threatens public health, and weighs heavily on the nation’s well-being.
While a green tax on plastic has been proposed, the Nigeria Climate Innovation Center (NCIC) offers a different solution – one that creates jobs, strengthens communities, and fosters a healthy environment.

The NCIC champions a circular economy for plastic waste management. This innovative approach goes beyond simply discouraging plastic use. It prioritizes resource efficiency, promoting reuse and recycling.
However, CEO of NCIC,Bankole Oloruntoba, raised the concern that Green taxes can have unintended consequences.
He said while the green tax aims to curb plastic consumption and generate funds for waste management, the NCIC highlights potential drawbacks.

It pointed to job losses in the plastic industry and disruptions in the existing waste recycling system as two key concerns.
The tax could also disproportionately burden low-income communities that rely on waste picking for income.

A Circular Economy: Jobs, Growth, and a Cleaner Future

The NCIC proposes a path forward with significant economic and social benefits. Here’s how a circular economy can address plastic waste:

Job Creation: Recycling creates new opportunities! Jobs emerge in waste collection, sorting, processing, and manufacturing products from recycled materials. This empowers individuals currently relying on informal waste picking, providing them with stable jobs and improved livelihoods.
Economic Boost: A thriving recycling industry stimulates economic activity. New businesses emerge, reducing reliance on imported virgin plastic. This not only strengthens the economy but fosters innovation and entrepreneurship.
Environmental Benefits: Recycling conserves precious natural resources and reduces energy consumption. Reduced reliance on virgin plastic protects ecosystems and combats climate change. Most importantly, diverting plastic waste from landfills and the environment safeguards public health.
A Call to Action

“Green taxes can have unintended consequences,” says Bankole Oloruntoba, CEO of NCIC. “A circular economy offers a more sustainable and inclusive solution. It tackles the root causes of plastic waste while creating jobs and propelling economic growth.”

The NCIC report, to be launched soon, provides a roadmap for embracing a circular economy. It offers in-depth research, successful case studies, and clear recommendations for policymakers, businesses, and communities to work together for a cleaner, more prosperous Nigeria.

By embracing a circular economy, Nigeria can address plastic waste pollution, empower its people, and build a sustainable future for all.

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