The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Ministry of the Environment recently paid a field visit to Polysmart, a groundbreaking indigenous plastic recycling facility located in Aiyetoro, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The purpose of the visit was to explore areas of partnership in addressing the plastic pollution challenge in Lagos State and across Nigeria.
Polysmart, which commenced production in 2021, specializes in the complete recycling of used plastic bottles, from collection to the production of six million food-grade PET bottles on a daily basis. During the facility tour, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, the Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, commended Polysmart for its diligence and determination in establishing the facility, stating that it was a dream come true in the fight against plastic pollution in the state.
“This is a strong indicator that LAWMA is making all best possible efforts at ensuring plastic pollution is tackled in the state and here we are with Polysmart,” said Odumboni. “If Polysmart collects 7 million used plastic bottles on a daily basis, gradually, plastic pollution will reduce, and we will have a plastic-free environment. That is why LAWMA is advocating the two-bin system for the collection of waste and sorting of recyclables.”
Odumboni also challenged Polysmart to collaborate with LAWMA Academy to promote waste management knowledge among children and youth in the state. Dr. Omobolaji Gaji, the Permanent Secretary of the Office of Environmental Services of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, expressed delight in Polysmart’s initiative, stating that it would help provide a lasting solution to the plastic pollution epidemic in Lagos State.
“This is a testament that some people still believe so much in Nigeria, and to see this coming from a Nigerian, it is a great motivation,” said Gaji. “From all that has been said and seen, it is obvious that this will curb the deposition of plastics in our drainage channels and the environment. It will serve as a source of income as well as employment for people who will be involved in the sorting and collection process.”
Gaji pledged the Lagos State government’s support to Polysmart and promised to work with other stakeholders to support the company’s vision. Mr. Wasiu Balogun, the Managing Director of Polysmart, who conducted the visitors around the facility, revealed that the firm was established with the primary aim of solving the plastic pollution crisis and generating employment.
Balogun disclosed that the facility, which is the first of its kind in Africa, requires approximately 7 million used bottles daily for non-stop operation, and it was wholly designed and built by Nigerian engineers and technicians without foreign assistance. Balogun also promised total cooperation with LAWMA and the state government in increasing the cost per kilogram of used plastic harvested by households in the state and beyond.
The field visit was attended by the entire LAWMA management team, including Mr. Kunle Adebiyi, the Executive Director of Finance. The collaboration between LAWMA and Polysmart marks a significant step towards addressing the plastic pollution challenge in Lagos State and promoting sustainable waste management practices in Nigeria.