Nigerians Go for Used Disposable Plastics As Economy Bites Harder

Wonders, they say, shall never cease, as Nigerians resort to the use of unimaginable things to survive, as the current state of the economy continues.

The days when anyone thought about people’s perception of any demeaning changes made in living standards has long gone.

Economy&Lifestyle discovered that one of the new changes Nigerians are making include the purchase of used disposable plastic plates for storage purposes and takeaways.

Take away plastic packs are deep containers, with plastic lids that come in various sizes, and are meant to be disposed after use.

But the nature of Nigerians, who always want to see the end of things, has seen the plastic reused for other purposes such as food storage, and to microwave food, among other things.

According to many, the cost of buying new ones have increased and the prices of used ones are less.

Mrs. Ranti Fatai, a fruit salad seller, said: “I have been in this business for three years now.

“I package my fruits with new disposable plastic plates with lids.

“But since last June, the cost of a dozen of these plates have risen by almost 50 per cent.

“I had to start picking used ones and washing them with detergent and warm water.

“Recently, a man selling used wares advertised used disposable plastic plates which he sold one piece for N50.

“I was very happy because with the high cost of fruit and the need to keep being in business, it was my saving grace.”

Mrs. Jedida Vincent, a food seller said: “I used to buy disposable plastic plates for takeaways for customers.

“It hasn’t been easy combining the cost as some customers never want to pay for the plates.

“When the cost started increasing, a friend introduced me to buying used plates.

“A used plate cost N50 which was better than buying new ones which my customers would never want to pay N150 for.”

Investigation revealed that the cost of 100 pieces of medium size disposable plastics plates is now N10,000 while the old price was N4,000, and the big sizes are sold for N13,000 which was sold N5,000 few years back.

Further investigation also revealed that seeing the patronage of used disposable plastics plates, many now pick them in parties with the aim of selling them to traders of used kitchen wares who in turn sell them off to potential buyers.

Mr. Chidi Alfred, a trader of tokunbo (used) cooking wares, said that he buys a used disposable plastic plate for N20 and resells for N50.

“I have some people who sell these used plastic plates to me.

“I buy at the rate of N20 per one and resell at N50.

“When I did my finding of where they get them, I discovered that they pick it from parties and hotels, wash them and store them till they are many.

“Then they sell it to us.

“They make quite a lot from the sale.”

Recently, the Lagos State Government banned the use of takeaway packs, and other single-use plastics in the state with immediate effect.

According to the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Lagos State, Tokunbo Wahab, who made the announcement, the ban was necessary due to the menace the takeaway packs’ and other single-use plastics are causing the environment.

Research has proven that the takeaway packs constitute a great danger to the environment and aquatic life.

In Lagos, the manner in which users dispose these plastics has resulted in environmental menace, with gutters, canals, and other water channels staying clogged by takeaway packs which lead to blockages and resulting in floods during the rainy season.

With the above development, what will be the hope of the buyers of used takeaways plastic plates?

Nevertheless, Nigerians, for who they are known to be, have answers and solutions to every problem.


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