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Erion and Epron, together for the environment

Since January 2021 our system is twinned with the first Extended Producer Responsibility organization for electronic waste management in Nigeria. The partnership was born within the Outreach program of the WEEE Forum, which aims at the development of efficient EPR systems in emerging countries. Interview with Ibukun Faluyi, Epron’s Executive Secretary

Erion and Epron, similar names, same goal: to safeguard the environment and protect public health thanks to a quality management of waste associated with electronic products. A common purpose that, since last January, combined the two major EPR systems in Italy and Nigeria in a twinning aimed at creating efficient models for the collection and the treatment of E-Waste in developing countries. The collaboration was born within the Outreach Programme promoted by the WEEE Forum, according to a strategy that proposes to combine the most expert systems with the new realities of the sector to favour the exchange of know-how and best practices and, therefore, the development of non-profit and virtuous subjects in areas of the world that do not have them yet. We interviewed Ibukun Faluyi, Epron Executive Secretary, our twin system.

Why did Epron decide to join the WEEE Forum?
To become the benchmark in the field of Extended Producer Responsibility for Electrical and Electronic Equipment in Africa, Epron must develop its EPR system according to International best practices. As a fledgling EPR in a society where EPR was recently adopted, the skills, tools and knowledge are limited. It therefore becomes imperative to join the WEEE Forum: the world’s largest multi-national centre of competence as regards Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) management. This way, we will acquire the expertise required to successfully implement EPR and standard e-waste management practices in Nigeria. Equally important and beneficial to Epron’s prospects is its association with established systems.

The main goals of the WEEE Forum’s Outreach programme are to assist emerging PROs “develop effective, efficient not for profit systems in their countries and to join the WEEE Forum as active contributing members”. What contribution do you expect from Erion in this regard?
There is so much to learn from a successful and highly experienced EPR scheme like Erion. The partnership with Erion will enhance our knowledge and skills on requisite structures to implement a transparent and an effective EPR System. For example, we will get information on the appropriate governance structure and ownership required to manage a cost-effective registry/database; we will acquire knowledge on effective tools for aggregating and estimating data across the entire e-waste value chain.

Nigeria is one of the African countries most affected by illegitimate E-waste exports from Europe. What role does a PRO like Epron play to stem this phenomenon?
A PRO like Epron will promote the development of new structures and initiatives and where necessary the re-activation of existing ones to obstruct illegitimate e-waste imports into the country. The advisory council of Epron is member of all the most important organizations such as the Department of Pollution Control of the Federal Ministry of Environment, the National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the Standard Organizations of Nigeria (SON). These organizations are responsible for obstructing illegitimate import of e-waste into the country. Their participation in different committees of the advisory council opens up opportunities for frequent engagements on approaches to track illegitimate e-waste imports into the country and the development of strategic initiatives to act as a deterrent to illegal importers. For example, the existence of the PRO has enabled NESREA initiate a penalty which ensures that importers are fined and are also made responsible for the transportation cost and formal recycling of illegal cathode ray tubes imported into the country.