Home Economy SON, detergent stakeholders commit to environmental protection

SON, detergent stakeholders commit to environmental protection

by Business News Report

Stakeholders in the manufacturing, importation and regulation of powdered detergent in Nigeria have committed to protecting the aquatic environment by ensuring the strict implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS ARS 496-2:2018) for synthetic detergent powder which prohibits the use of sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) as raw material. This commitment was part of the resolutions reached at a Stakeholders Forum put together by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Lagos to review the implementation of the Standards and the level of compliance by manufacturers, importers and regulators of the products in the country.

Stakeholders in attendance at the forum include manufacturers under the soap and detergent sub-sector of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Environmental Standards Regulatory Agency (NESREA) and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) among others. In a presentation by SON, the Manufacturers were confronted with facts based on a Nationwide sampling of powdered detergents and laboratory tests that the use of STPP as raw material has not totally abated in Nigeria. 

Other resolutions reached at the interactive session include: that STPP has been globally confirmed to be non-biodegradable, thus negatively affecting the aquatic environment, human lives and thus prohibited as raw material in the production of powdered detergent; that the Nigerian Industrial Standard specifications are in line with international best practices; that all manufacturers, importers and regulators must comply; that the Soap and Detergent sub-sector of MAN should create a platform to constantly educate, sensitize and keep their members informed about regulatory requirements in the subsector; that MSMEs involved in powdered detergent manufacturing have the obligation to meet standards and regulatory requirements; that Manufacturers in general have the obligations to fulfil corporate social responsibility to their immediate community, environment, consumers and the Nation; that Regulatory authorities should ensure strict implementation of the NIS ARS 496-2: 2018 for synthetic detergent powder in issuing import permits, registration and certification of the products.

In his opening address to the forum, Mallam Farouk Salim, Director General, SON pointed to the United Nations sustainable development goal number 12 on “responsible consumption and production” which highlights the importance of protecting the environment for posterity and charged the stakeholders to contribute to more sustainable and responsible industrial practices. Represented by the Ag. Director, Operations, Mr. Dauda Yakubu, the SON Chief Executive highlighted the enormous business opportunities for the powdered detergent manufacturers in Nigeria in view of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA). Mallam Salim however posited that only products that meet the requirements of the applicable standards would thrive under AfCFTA, given the ongoing harmonisation of standards across the continent under the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) platform.

He urged Nigerian Manufacturers to embrace the Standards Organisation of Nigeria’s Integrated Management Systems (IMS) certification, which includes the Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2015) and Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2015) standards in order to help their businesses meet legal and regulatory requirements and satisfy industry standards. Other benefits of the IMS Certification according to him, include minimising risks and accidents while also opening up multiple opportunities for improved customer relationships and reputation, waste reduction, lower emissions and efficient use of materials to improve their competitiveness as well as profitability. In their goodwill messages, the regulatory organisation’s present at the forum, namely NCS, NAFDAC, NESREA and FCCPC pledged their collective support and commitment to implementing the specifications in the Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS ARS 496-2:2018) for synthetic detergent powder, for a healthier, safer and sustainable environment in the interest of the Nation.

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