This partnership comes at a time when there has been an increase in plastic waste and an increase in the consumption of plastic beverages, foods, etc. According to the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Nigeria’s plastic consumption has increased by 116.26% in a period of 15 years to 1.25 million tonnes.
This announcement was made at a press briefing that marked its centenary celebration. The partnership was set up by the “Development Impact Bond” initiative which was structured by the French Investment Bank, Societe Generale. Wecyclers will create hundreds of jobs to expand its operations which will remove plastic waste from the environment which will be used for raw materials in industries.
Speaking about the new partnership between Unilever and Wecyclers, Mr Carl Cruz, Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria, he said Unilever Nigeria and Wecyclers have been working together since 2014 as part of its Unilever’s ‘waste to wealth’ campaign, which helps local organizations create value and jobs from the reduction, collection, recycling, and reusing of plastic waste.
He also added that, under the partnership, seed funding from Unilever, UK Government and EY joint project called Transform has helped Wecyclers expand their successful franchise and collection model.
He also stated that, as an entrepreneurial social enterprise, Wecyclers has not had access to long-term funding needed to build on its progress and significantly scale up its model.
He said “The unique Development Impact Bond provides a solution to that challenge. It includes social, environmental, and financial targets, which will see Wecyclers collect more than 30,000 tonnes of plastic waste over the next five years, create over 700 jobs in recycling franchises across Nigeria, and improve the incomes of thousands of waste sorters. This funding is a major step forward for us in our work to ensure plastics waste stays out of the Nigerian environment,”
While Mr. Wale Adebiyi, Wecyclers, said “All the partners involved hope this experience in Nigeria will inspire the further development and use of such Bonds globally to finance organisations tackling similar challenges,”