Dow, Empower and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) launch feasibility study to examine plastics circularity in Nigeria
The partnership extends Dow’s global commitment to help advance a circular economy for plastics and reduce plastic waste and pollution in West Africa.
[Lagos, Nigeria] – [28 April 2021] Dow (NYSE: DOW) and Empower, a Norwegian circular platform company which uses blockchain technology to track plastics waste, have announced a new study as part of an ongoing partnership, which will examine the feasibility of advancing fully circular value chains in Nigeria, Africa, to help close the loop on plastics waste.
The study, which will be part funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), will focus on the implementation of a scalable digital waste collection and recycling business model in Lagos, Nigeria. The findings will inform the long-term ambition of the partnership which is to digitize the local collection points, recyclers, and waste streams, to ensure transparency and reliability of the process of tracking recyclable plastics waste and converting it into new sustainable packaging.
The project will see Dow and Empower examine the entire value chain to ensure sustainable plastics sourcing is commercially viable across all areas. The businesses will also explore the potential to crowdsource and digitally track waste collection in order to create significant and reliable streams of raw material feedstock which will meet the needs of buyers.
The Empower digital platform - which uses blockchain technology to ensure the seamless tracking and monetization of plastics waste – provides cost-efficient collection of plastics waste, sorting at source, and local job creation both for waste pickers in the community and in waste management facilities. The study will identify opportunities to further incentivize the expansion of decentralized sustainable waste management systems, that is communities managing collection, segregation and processing their waste locally, in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Dow and Empower have been working together in Nigeria since 2020 to map and crowdsource the collection and sorting of plastic water sachets, which is a significant environmental problem across West Africa. The findings of the new study will assist in scaling up Project ReflexNG - a water sachet recycling program Dow launched in Nigeria last year in partnership with Omnik, Incentive based collection partners and the Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre, specifically.
The project aims to recycle over 300 million sachets, which would otherwise end up in the environment or landfill, into new applications. To date, the program has provided an additional source of income for over 8,000 subscribers to the program’s phone app which enables the coordination of collection and sorting of plastics waste around the city, over 200 waste pickers and has recovered almost 600 MT of plastic waste in total.
Adwoa Coleman, Africa Sustainability and Advocacy Manager at Dow commented: "Achieving full circularity for plastics, that is, where the practical benefits are matched by its environmental performance, takes each part of the value chain working as a collective, and research, such as this new study, which helps us to further assess the feasibility and traceability of plastics waste is invaluable in helping us to advance our efforts.
“That’s why we are excited to partner with digital innovators like Empower to explore new, efficient ways to equip our value chain, partners and customers so we can advance a circular economy for plastics in Nigeria and the wider continent of Africa.”
“Our ultimate aim is to create a disruptive and circular global plastic waste ecosystem that enables a cost-efficient and reliable sourcing of recycled plastics, with fully-traceable materials, to create reliable streams of higher value plastic for the private sector while creating jobs for people that need it the most,” explains Wilhelm Myrer, CEO and Founder of Empower.
This project is aligned to Dow’s global STOP THE WASTE sustainability target which will enable the collection, reuse or recycling of one million metric tons of plastic globally by 2030.
For more information, please visit: www.dow.com.
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $39 billion in 2020. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.
EMPOWER, a Norwegian circular platform company, uses digitisation, cloud-data and blockchain technology to store and facilitate seamless sharing of information about plastic waste and map waste flows to ensure that the plastic ends up where it has the highest value and the lowest cost to society. Empower's mission is to ensure that all materials have a value and can be tracked from production, to new resources and back into new sustainable products again, with a vision to close the tap on plastic waste and recreate a world without waste.
Empower is an alumnus of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and Plug and Play innovation platform which provides accelerator programs for highest-potential startups tackling plastic waste.
For more information about Empower, visit Empower.eco, follow @empowerplastic on Twitter and Instagram and find us on Facebook.
NORAD is the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) does the quality-assurance of Norwegian Development Cooperation. The Agency is a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In matters regarding Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), NORAD reports to the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment.
For further information contact:
Jaoued Belhidaoui (Dow)
Alexandra Dewar (Teneo)
Alexandra.dewar@teneo; Tel +971 52 997 6681