The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and stakeholders in the food industry are collaborating to develop a standard for recycled plastic pet bottles.
The Director-General of SON, Mr Osita Aboloma who indicated this at a Technical Committee Meeting on Polymer and Related Products on Wednesday in Lagos, said the move was coming on the heels of a recent coordination by the Federal Ministry of Environment to develop a national policy for the life cycle of plastics in the country.
The Director-General, represented by Mrs Chinyere Egwuonwu, Director, Standards Development, SON, said the gesture would improve production processes of plastics and ensure safety and the quality of products; as well as lead to an increase of its use, thereby resulting in higher opportunities for employment.
The SON chief said it would also give consumers and producers the confidence that the products and services they were developing or using were safe, reliable while also keeping the environmental safe.
He said: “The recycling of pet bottles packaging represents one of the most successful and wide spread examples of plastic packaging recycling.
“The growth in collection and processing of pet bottles for food packaging application has been increasing significantly over the last 10 years.
“This has been accomplished by significant investments in plastic recovery facilities and food grade recycled pet processing.
“The food and beverage recycling association of Nigeria remains the driving force for the development of this standard.
“Today, we have a draft national policy on life cycle of plastics with recycling of plastic waste as one of the strategies.
“The draft policy has been extensively discussed by all relevant stakeholders, and it is currently being processed for approval by the relevant government agency.”
Aboloma urged stakeholders to study the document and come up with a workable standard that would guide manufacturers, promote trade and assist regulation to guarantee acceptability without compromising the safety of the product.
Also, Prof. Abiola Kehinde, Chairman of the Committee, commended SON for creating the platform for developing the standards.
Kehinde said that it would go a long way to educate manufacturers on what was expected of them.
Ajibola, who is of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum and Gas Engineering, University of Lagos, said that the meeting had created an opportunity for stakeholders to make inputs into the standards.