Report on Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Survey on Plastic Use Among Nigerians

Clean Technology Hub
7 min readDec 5, 2022

Executive Summary

As part of the ongoing Plastic Action Campaign, Clean Technology Hub undertook a survey to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) of Nigerians in regards to their plastic use and disposal practices. The CTH Plastic Action Campaign seeks to change human attitudes and behavior toward plastics and reduce plastic pollution. This campaign will help people better understand the impacts of plastic pollution on human and ecosystem health and how everyday actions can lessen the problem.

To achieve this objective CTH conducted this national survey to ask citizens aged 18 and above questions related to their plastic use and disposal, recycling habits and willingness to change to reusable or more sustainable products. The indiscriminate disposal of plastic is an issue having severe ramifications across Nigeria. Despite the work being done to combat it, waste management authorities and recycling companies are overwhelmed, and they lack the capacity to handle the sheer volume of plastic waste generated daily across the country. This arises from the combination of the utility derived from plastic, the lack of awareness of the harm caused by improper disposal amongst members of the general public, and the insufficient provision of equipment and facilities to effectively manage plastic waste.

The results of the survey found a large use of plastic among Nigerians, with half having a little awareness of recycling hubs and in various cities and a few citizens unwilling to switch to biodegradable alternatives despite being aware of the current environmental problems caused by plastic products. The results of this survey suggests that there should be an increase in information associated with increased plastic use, ways to properly dispose of plastic waste, information on recycling facilities in communities and improved advocacy for the passage of the plastic bag ban Bill by the Nigerian Senate.

Background and Objectives

The primary objectives of CTH’s Plastic Action Campaign is to influence behavioural change throughout the entire plastic value chain in Nigeria. With this in mind, the survey was targeted at citizens aged 18 and above, from all over Nigeria irrespective of ethnic groups and occupations. The survey was aimed at studying the relationship between plastic products e.g. cutlery, bags, bottles and citizens of Nigeria. The survey was carried out to determine Nigerian citizens’ level of awareness and knowledge of plastic pollution, recycling and willingness to support change on a personal and policy level.

The results of this survey will be used to better understand the average Nigerians KAP towards plastic products and help to create better informed and detailed infographics and other visual content to run a smooth campaign.

Methodology

The study targeted social media users through an online survey with the use of Google Forms which was shared across all CTH social media channels. A short video and flyer was created to bring attention to the survey. The participants were randomly chosen and the survey recorded a sample size of 173 responses from people aged 18 and above and people with different occupations. Questions in this study were crafted to be simple with multiple choice answers provided.

Results and Conclusion

The findings of this study indicate a high use of plastic among Nigerians, poor awareness of recycling hubs and insufficient recycling plants around city centers. Respondents stick to plastic use despite their awareness of the environmental hazards because of availability, absence of affordable alternatives, ease and affordability.

Name of Survey

Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Survey on Plastic Use Among Nigerians

Investigators

Clean Technology Hub

Study Country

Nigeria

Summary of Findings

The aim of this survey is to review the knowledge , attitude and practices of Nigerians on the use of plastic, the purpose of plastic use, the methods of disposal, their ideology towards recycling, alternative methods and disposition towards a Plastic Ban Law in the country with the end goal of understanding the direction a plastic action campaign should take.

The Study targeted social media users through an online survey.

There were 173 responses from people in different age groups and occupations.

A brief summary of the responses showed : 68.6% Females responded while 30.2% of the respondents were male.

24.4% between the ages of 18- 25, 48.8% of the respondents were between the ages of 26 and 35, 24.4% between the ages of 36- 49, 2.4% age 50 and above.

32% of the respondents collect an average of 2 shopping bags per shopping trip, 24. 4% collect 3 shopping bags per shopping trip, 19.2% collect an average of 4 shopping bags per trip, while 11.6% collect 1 shopping bag per trip.

Over 52.9 % of respondents order plastic weekly and 42.1 dispose of those plastics by trashing, while 49. 1% Wash and reuse, only 6.4% of the respondents recycle.

79.5% have never heard of or seen a recycling plant in their environment, 19.9 % have seen or heard about a recycling plant in their environment and 0.6% respondents stated that they have heard about recycling but never seen a recycling plant. 59.3% use formal systems of waste collection while 34.8% use informal waste collection systems , the remaining 5.9% Percent used: self disposal, burning, illegal dumpsites, and were not sure of waste disposal systems used.

82% keep a stash of plastic bags, while 18% do not keep a stash.

93. 6% of respondents believed that plastic bags are a danger to the environment 57.6% fully support a law banning the use of plastic bags and bottles. 34.9 slightly support a ban law, while 7.6% do not support it.

93.6% of respondents are willing to switch to renewable biodegradable bags, 62.8% responded they were very willing to switch to reusable bottles , 5.8 % may be willing to switch to plastic bags, 22.7% willing to switch to reusable bottles, 0.6% are not willing to switch to reusable non degradable bags, 10.5% of respondents are indifferent to switching to renewable bottles while 4% are not willing.

For the reasons for using plastic, 45.3% of the respondents stated that it their use of plastic was based on what was available 23.3% stated ease and affordability. 23.8% stated the absence of an alternative, less than 2 % stated that it was what they were used to while the remaining 1. 3 % such as; absence of a plastic ban law.

From the response from the respondents we can deduce a high use of plastic among Nigerians, poor awareness of recycling hubs and insufficient recycling plants and hubs around city centers. Respondents stick to plastic use despite their awareness of the environmental hazards because of availability, absence of affordable alternatives, ease and affordability.

Deployment of Findings for Plastic Action Campaign

To influence attitudinal change in plastic use among Nigerians messages would have to be coined around awareness of recycling hubs and plants, promotion of available affordable non biodegradable alternatives, and messaging towards reducing stash of plastic bag, cost analysis of reusing biodegradable alternatives as against constant purchase of plastic.

Campaign Strategy

  1. Collate and share information on recycling plants, hubs, contact address and pick up spots in Nigeria.
  2. Interview and use short videos to share the process of recycling for target audience
  3. Coin messages on reuse and reducing plastic use through short relatable videos, pictures and messages
  4. Hold conversations with the Ministry of Environment , and Abuja Environmental Protection Agency around the Plastic Action Bill, the informal waste sector, and advocate for the transmission of the Plastic Action Bill to the Senate before the elapsing of the tenure of the 9th National Assembly In June 2023.

Details of Survey Report.

  1. Gender Of Respondents
  1. Age:
  1. Average Number of shopping bags collected per shopping trip
  1. Response on ordering food regularly with plastic containers and cutlery:
  1. Number of plastic packs ordered per week:
  1. Methods of Disposal:
  1. Number of plastic bottles purchased per week:
  1. Have you seen or heard of a recycling plant/ hub within your environment?
  1. Method of trash collection used in respondents location:
  1. Respondents who keep a stack of plastic bags:
  1. Response on awareness of environmental damage from Plastics:
  1. Response to replacement of plastic bags with biodegradable bags
  1. Response to replacing plastic bottles with renewable bottles
  1. Response to law on plastic ban

16. Factors influencing choice of reusable plastic bottles and bags

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Clean Technology Hub

Clean Technology Hub is a hybrid hub for research, policy development, community engagement, & incubation of clean energy & climate resilience ideas in Nigeria.