Norfund makes the first two landmark direct investments in plastic recycling in Africa in Nigeria and Ghana
Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, has announced its first-ever direct investments in plastic recycling initiatives in Africa.
The development finance institution is committing $2 million as a convertible loan to Wecyclers Corporation, a recycling company based in Lagos, Nigeria. Simultaneously, Norfund is investing $10.5 million in MINIPLAST Ghana Ltd, a leading plastics manufacturer located in Accra, Ghana, to enhance its recycling capabilities.
Norfund’s decision to support these ventures aligns with its commitment to showcasing successful models that can contribute to addressing the pervasive issue of plastic pollution while generating a significant number of employment opportunities. “By showcasing functioning models, we can enable the development of an industry that is crucial in tackling the challenges of plastic pollution while creating a large number of jobs,” stated Carl Johan Wahlund, Norfund’s Investment Director for Green Infrastructure.The EUR 2 million convertible loan provided to Wecyclers will be used to establish a new PET-bottle recycling plant in Ogun state, Nigeria.
The plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 12,000 tons and produce recycled PET materials for local use and export to Europe.
In addition to this, Norfund’s USD 10.5 million investment in MINIPLAST Ghana Ltd will be utilized to procure advanced manufacturing equipment and machinery. This injection of funds will significantly boost the company’s recycling capacity, allowing it to process 1,700 tonnes of plastic waste per month.
The increased use of locally sourced recycled materials will help minimize dependence on imported plastic resins and reduce production costs.
The urgency of combating plastic pollution cannot be understated, as current estimates indicate that more than 171 trillion pieces of plastic are now floating in the world’s oceans, with projections showing a potential tripling by 2040. Establishing effective plastic collection systems is crucial in addressing this issue. However, such methods are complex, even in high-income countries, and even more challenging in developing nations with inadequate waste regulations and limited enforcement of extended producer responsibility.
MINIPLAST Ghana Ltd ventured into in-house plastics recycling in 2020. The company utilizes locally sourced plastic waste, recycling it in their finished products and selling surplus recycled plastics to third parties.
Norfund’s investments in Wecyclers Corporation and MINIPLAST Ghana Ltd represent a significant step towards combatting plastic pollution and promoting sustainable practices in the recycling industry.
By funding these pioneering ventures, Norfund is supporting job creation and championing environmentally responsible solutions to one of the world’s most pressing challenges.
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