The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) has awarded Tearfund a grant of up to NOK 24,000,000 (c£2 million) to deliver the project: ‘From Trash to Cash: Turning plastic pollution into economic opportunity’, over a period of three years, from 2021-2023.
At a global level, working with waste picker representatives and fast moving consumer goods companies (such as Nestle, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo & Unilever), the project will deepen the evidence base around good practice in private sector partnerships with the informal waste sector, strengthen collaboration between stakeholders, and pilot the implementation of a set of principles that will guide partnerships between the private sector and informal waste sector to improve livelihoods and increase plastic recovery rates in voluntary extended producer responsibility (VEPR) schemes.
At a grassroots level, working with local partner, Yola Renewal Foundation, the project will facilitate the setting up of a social enterprise, working with local youths in a marginalised community located beside the Benue river in Yola (north eastern Nigeria). The project will gather plastic waste before it has an opportunity to enter the river system and recycle it into saleable products, testing the sustainability of the approach, as well as providing income and employment opportunities for youths in an area that has high unemployment. The project will also engage with local government and state institutions to advocate for more effective policies that reduce marine litter and create green and fair jobs. The Yola project will be one of the case studies used to test and refine the partnership principles developed at the global level and will further develop and test workable approaches for tackling the waste crisis that can be disseminated for wider adoption and scale up in Africa.
The long-term objective is to eliminate plastic waste dumped into rivers and watercourses, thus breaking the cycle of the negative impact of plastics on marine and human health and turning it into economic benefits for people living in poverty.
Tearfund has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with local Nigerian partner, Yola Renewal Foundation, to support the delivery of this project and that agreement is worth £545,596 in grant funding.