BY NDUMBE BELL GASTON
Nestlé Cameroon’s win-win convention with a major plastic waste recycling concern, Namé Recycling, signed in 2019, is said to be bearing fruit.
In a gathering held at Namé Recycling’s plant in Bonaberi, Rowland R. Banzeu, the Communication Director of Nestlé Cameroon, (in collaboration with Darryl Kamgang of ACMA communication, officials of the plant and some invited elements of the press), revealed that their fight against wastes in general and plastic waste pollution in particular, is underlined within the framework of their 2025 global promise to have wastes recycled so as to create value like employment, wealth and to preserve the environment and communities from waste.
To achieve these goals, the collection, treatment and recycling of plastic and other wastes was to become the essential raw materials to produce other re-usable products to reduce waste and create advantage for communities while sensitisation on the right practice of categorising wastes to improve the environment will be on going.
This, Nestlé Cameroon, called the introduction of a circular economy which has also brought about the creation of wealth across the nation’s socio-economic ecosystem.
Nestlé and Namé Recycling intend to collect, treat and recycle an estimated 100 tons of plastic waste by year’s end. Plastic wastes from maggi products, Nido choco, all Nestlé sachets called “complex” and covers from Nestlé condensed milk, known technically as H.D.P.s. among others like PET, LDPE, are being collected regularly.
The Commercial Manager of Name Plastic, Emile Kamjo, , in a historic account, told attendees that Namé Plastics started in Limbe in 2015 and has since spread to Douala, Yaounde, Far-North and Gabon. According to their sources, the Managing Director, Roblain Namegni, a Cameroonian and the Business Development and Financial Director, Thomas Poelman, are both managing the company from Belgium.
Namé Plastics called their partnership with business concerns such as they have with Nestlé Cameroon as pre-collection, while those that they recruit as teams of plastic waste collectors as post-collection. They supply bins in various parts of communities and collect the wastes to the plant. Their mission is to provide an effective, efficient collection and recycling services and also to ensure a more sustainable future for the communities. They say their goal is to provide the nation’s solutions to plastic wastes and operate as a profitable sustainable business across the West African region, generating broad environmental and social impacts based on internationally-accepted standards.
According to the Commercial Manager, Emile Kamjo, plastic wastes last 450 years and renders the area infertile. He maintains that a ton of collected plastic bottles consists of 28.900 empties, furthering that in five years (from 2014-2019), they have collected 5,000 tons. Namé Plastic has also collected 2,000 tons from January 20 up to June this year. They estimate that 5,000 tons of waste produces an equivalent emission of 2.9 million CO², a pollution rate only compared to that of 500 cars, among others.
Recycled plastics, Namé officials state, can produce straps, as their end products used as ropes to tie something and various other ways in agro-industry. Other items that can be produced are components for making carpets, clothes and soon fuel, they disclosed.
Their workforce in Cameroon, Gabon and Belgium stands at 200 direct jobs and 1000 indirect jobs. Cameroon alone has 100 direct jobs. Also, the company has provided portable water in some communities, The SUN gathered.
According to officials of the company, areas like Dakar, Yassa, Rond-Point Maetur Bonamoussadi and Rond-Point Deido in Douala (Littoral Region) are areas with huge volumes of wastes.
During an inspection of the recycling plant, The press observed Lorries outside full of collected plastic wastes from households, municipal collection centres and collection bins made available throughout the city. The quantities are paid based on the weight and quality of the wastes. This was followed by the next activity called the sorting or segregation into PET, HDPE and LDPE plastics for better treatment and first washing to remove impurities like labels, adhesives, fluids, sand, dust and dirt. The processing phase is where the plastics are crushed after loading into conveyor belts to shredders where they are reduced to flakes.
Cold and hot bath is done and passed through the Pet Strap Production Line where the strap rolls out in 15kg bundles. The width is 15.5 mm and thickness .9 mm.
However, much remains to be done to protect the collection bins in municipalities as it was explained that some people steal plastic bottles for resale to make brisk business while efforts are made to mitigate those acts of banditry.
The Administrator General of Nestlé Cameroon, in conclusion, declared that “a clean environment is imperative for the well-being of communities now and in the future. On this score, Nestlé will continue to play a leading role to ensure recycled waste and reusable products from now onwards to 2025 and to promote circular economy so as to create added value or wealth for all.”