Charles Obi Nnanna: Creating Wealth from Waste – THISDAY Newspapers
Charles Obi Nnanna is founder / chief executive officer of KALTANI, a recycling and waste management company. In this interview with MARY NNAH, he shared his passion for the business of recycling, promoting its importance and sustainable development, the circular economy, and tackling unemployment in Nigeria
When did you first become interested in recycling and plastic waste management?
I believe I became interested in this space when I realised the magnitude of the problem at hand. When you stop to think about it, you realise that in a couple of years we will have more plastic than fish in the ocean, and more and more people will be ingesting microplastics which are known to cause quite serious illnesses. I believe my interest further grew when I recognised how more and more Nigerians and Africans can be empowered and can earn a living from sustainable jobs and how it can be a significant tool to reduce unemployment, and subsequent brain drain from the continent via illegal migration through the Mediterranean.
KALTANI describes itself as a clean-tech plastic waste recycling company aiming to solve Africa’s growing plastic waste and unemployment crisis. What does it mean to be a clean-tech company?
Clean tech speaks to the environment and the sustainable nature of our processes and our technology. It speaks to who we are as a company via the reduction of carbon emissions and pollution in a traceable and transparent way. With our traceable and transparent methodology, we can quantify and qualify our environmental, social, and environmental impact in whatever community we operate in. Our goals are massive, the societal problems we aim to solve won’t be solved overnight but we are committed to staying the course and devising more practical and scalable solutions to solve the problems at hand.
Nigeria has a problem with the proper disposal or conversion of plastic waste, especially in our urban cities. Are there specific steps you and your team are taking to address this?
At KALTANI, we are making recycling easier for the common man. We are positioning recycling collection centers in densely populated city centers and regions to make it easier for everyone to recycle, no matter how big or small the volumes are. We are monetising peoples’ plastic waste and also incentivising adequately. We are working on some more ingenious solutions to encourage more recycling. I believe we know what that is so stay tuned.
One of Nigeria’s challenges with waste collection is that the waste is not being separated. Plastic waste has become a severe problem; how are you tackling this?
Co-mingled waste is a problem in Nigeria and will …….