Towards an Appropriate Legal Framework for Sustainable Management and Disposal of Plastic Waste in Nigeria: Lessons from Other Jurisdictions

Author: Izuoma Egeruoh-Adindu

ISSN: 2521-2605
Affiliations: BL LLB LLM: Senior research fellow Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Source: Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, Volume 10 Issue 1, p. 103 – 132


Plastic pollution from unsustainable management and disposal of plastic waste on land and in the marine environment is a very serious problem. Statistics indicate that more than one million plastic bags are used every minute, and approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used annually worldwide. This phenomenon has raised global concern leading to the adoption of measures by countries, including legislation to mitigate plastic waste pollution in the environment. Employing desk-based research methodologies, this paper examines the problems associated with the indiscriminate disposal of plastic waste in Nigeria. The paper argues that the extant legal framework on the management of solid wastes is ineffective, too general and does not take cognisance of the peculiarities and environmental hazards associated with plastic waste. The paper concludes that an appropriate legal framework complemented by effective enforcement mechanisms that target plastic waste management and sustainable disposal are required to address the problem. This paper, therefore, calls for the passage of the Plastic Bag (Prohibition) Bill of 2018 before the National Assembly and the effective implementation of the recommended measures aimed at ensuring environmentally-friendly disposal of plastic waste in Nigeria.