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A Rise of Women-led Schemes Focused on Fixing Nigeria’s Plastic Problem

Nigeria generates about 2.5 million metric tonnes of plastic waste annually. Of that, over 130,000 tonnes of plastic make their way into water bodies, putting the country among the top 20 contributors to marine debris globally. And while Nigeria has several dumping sites for waste, those in the environmental sector like Olumide Idowu, executive director for International Climate Change Initiative, say there is no exact data on their number or capacity to handle large volumes of waste sufficiently. So, waste has visibly caused blocked drainages and pollution, even as climate shocks like floods hit parts of sub-Saharan Africa. This is most obvious in Lagos, the country’s most populated city, with an estimated 24 million people. Compared to other developing countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, which have banned single-use plastics or are gradually eliminating them, Nigeria hasn’t done much to combat plastic pollution, experts say.