In most developed and developing countries with increasing population, prosperity and urbanization, one of the major challenges for municipalities is to collect, recycle, treat and dispose of increasing quantities of solid waste and wastewater (Coelho, 2011). Hence, the objective of this research proposal entitled as “Environmental impacts of disposable PET plastic bottles: The case of Water bottling companies in Port Harcourt” is to identify the estimated quantity of disposable plastic bottles, their respective treatment methods and estimate value for the environmental impacts of these wastes for Port Harcourt. The valuated impacts are evaluated using benefit transfer methods from other countries study. The study employed a cross-sectional in depth interview in which identical self-administered guiding questionnaires were used for six higher officials and experts in the focus area of the study. The study uses case type, mixed method and purposive sampling for this particular exploratory type research. The quantitative findings shows that the net valuated environmental impact of recycling benefit for the year 2018 was 23.98 USD per ton whereas incineration and land fill costs 14.36 and 19.93 USD per ton respectively. The total disposable pet bottles for the city show that net environmental benefit of 224,673.74 USD or 7,303,719.43 birr was gained for the cumulative impacts of 69.4% recycled and 30.6% landfilled waste treatment practice of the city respectively. Whereas, the qualitative findings of the study show that the solid waste proclamation lacks proper enactment and strict implementation of recycling laws that specifically target PET bottles. In addition, the country’s recycling process of disposable bottles for export market is limited to PET flake as a product. So, the study proposes respective solutions for the above stated gaps. And finally, the research concludes its recommendation by giving directions to do further researches on disposable plastic bottles of the country as a whole.

Keywords: Plastic, PET bottles, Environmental impact, bottling company.

1.1. Background of the study
The production of plastic materials started to flourish on an industrial scale in the 1940s and 1950s. Recently exhibited in the last 15 years back from 2013, the global annual production of plastics has doubled, and reaching approximately 299 million tons in 2013. (Hahladakisa , 2018).It is projected that if the world consumptions for plastic continues with same patterns as today‘s , 12,000Mt of plastic waste will be expected to be discarded in landfills or the natural environment by 2050, which is more than double the estimated 5,800Mt of plastic waste ever generated from primary plastics up to 2015(Dunmade, 2017).

In fact, Plastic products play a major role in our modern society due to their many useful attributes such as durability, light-weight, flexibility, electrical and thermal insulation, water and air impermeability and low costs (Kouloumpis, 2018).The majority of us consumes drinks in plastic bottles and also uses plastic bottles in every day household goods, such as bleach, shampoo, conditioner, bathroom cleaners and hand soap dispenser bottles (Bhunjun, 2018). Plastic packaging is widely used everywhere in the world. One of the most common plastic used for packaging is polyethylene terephthalate abbreviated PET. This plastic is strong and durable, chemically and thermally stable. It has low gas permeability and is easily processed and handled. This almost unique combination of properties makes PET a very desirable material for a wide range of applications including food and beverage packaging; especially water bottles at a very cost effective price (Caroline , 2017).

In this day and age, bottling water is one of the most common ways of making potable water available for people on a journey, at various ceremonies and work sites. It is often used on occasions such as wedding ceremony, birthday celebration, burial ceremony, and many other situations when large numbers of people are gathered for entertainment. Bottled water offers good taste, good quality and convenience. Though the bottled water consumption rate varies from one region to another, the global average bottled water consumption per person is about 50L/yr. and in 2014, the global bottled water market volume was about 290 billion liters and the market value was about USD170 billion. The market value is expected to reach USD 280 billion in 2020 (Dunmade, 2017). And according to Forbes sited from Sandra (2017), estimated that more than 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were sold in 2016 across the globe, which increased exponentially from around 300 billion bottles a decade ago. It is estimated that over half a trillion plastic bottles will be sold in 2020. By 2021 the figure will also become a staple in modern day society with a million plastic bottles bought around the world every minute – and the number promises to jump another 20%.

With reference to the higher figure of PET bottles, the changing human culture replaced glass bottles by plastic bottles and thereby, plastic bottles become one of the most disposable materials in the modern world (Caroline, 2017).This increasing trend of plastic demand for bottled water shows continued growth following the living standards of the population around the world. However, the waste management becomes a problem for all. In the developed countries, this issue has reached a crisis situation; it is affecting the ecosystems of the individual countries and the global community as whole. The waste is just as serious problem in the big cities of the developing countries, and is intricately interwoven with the problems of hygiene and public health (Harris, 2018). Studies on waste management explains that disposal of non-bio-degradable substance is a major challenge for the present era as it makes up much of the street side litter in urban and rural areas. It is rapidly filling up landfills and choking water bodies. Plastic bottles make up approximately 11% of the content landfills, causing serious environmental consequences. Plastic bottle, an urban junk, has many sustainability characteristics. Plastics are produced from the oil that is considered as a nonrenewable resource. Plastic, an environmental pollutant, has an insolubility of about 300 years in the nature and so it is considered as a sustainable waste (Caroline, 2017).

Despite the higher consumptions and usage rate of bottled water, globally, the PET used in beverage bottles has a higher recycling rate than any other type of plastic, ―but unexpectedly, almost 50% of these containers are not collected for recycling and only 7% is recycled in a closed loop of bottle-to-bottle‖; this represents a great opportunity. What‘s more, the same study shows that ―72% of plastic packaging is not recovered at all‖. Forty per cent goes to landfill, most often in deplorable conditions of pollution, health and environmental care; and 32% leaks out of the collection system and mostly goes to illegal dumping and/or mismanaged actions. Finally, 14% of the plastic is sent to an incineration or energy recovering process (Mayenberger, 2019).In support of this fact sited from Nace (2017), the National geographic studies show 91% of all plastic is not recycled. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an integrated waste management system at global as well as a regional perspective including technological, social, economic and political factors (Harris, 2018).

To challenge this problem, Gopalakrishna (2019) stated that, several rules and regulations have been enacted in many developed countries. Unfortunately, regulations on recycling and reuse of PET are not prevalent in many countries even today. Although Germany was one of the leading countries in terms of recycling PET, developing countries such as India are recently reporting recycling rates as high as 90%. South Africa has also shown a rapid increase in the rate of recycling PET bottles which reached to 58 % in 2017. Part of this increase in recycling rates is due to the enactment and strict implementation of recycling laws that specifically target PET bottles. In addition, major beverage companies such as Coca-Cola and Evian have pledged to use at least 50% of bottles from recycled PET. Recent reports suggest that Evian has pledged to use 100% recycled PET bottles. of Port Harcourt recyclable wastes are not collected for recycles (SWRDPO, 2012).

1.2. Statement of the problem
The future of humankind on this planet depends on the sustainability of a complex system involving three interdependent, highly fragile subsystems – the natural environment, the social/political system and the global economy. It is axiomatic that a catastrophic event in any one of these would result in severe consequences for the others (Sadler, 2003). And environmental consideration is no longer regarded as a trend but a way of life for industry. For many companies over the past few decades, there has been a shift in addressing environmental issues. Actions that were taken at the operational level due to regulative demands are now being discussed at the strategic level. The idea of sustainability must consider the interplay of social, economic and environmental aspects with integrated and long-term perspectives. In most developed and developing countries with increasing population, prosperity and urbanization, one of the major challenges for municipalities is to collect, recycle, treat and dispose of increasing quantities of solid waste and wastewater(Coelho, 2011). A cornerstone of sustainable development is the establishment of affordable, effective and truly sustainable waste management. For all these reasons, there is an increasing interest in the several options for management of resources and waste in order to design strategies for integrated, sustainable resource and waste management policies (Cherubini, 2009).

Nowadays, the recycling of PET bottles is a common environmentally friendly procedure, and is used to reduce plastic waste and to reprocess plastics for other applications. PET bottle to bottle recycling processes have been established worldwide due to their huge potential (Bach, 2012). On the other hand, Solid waste management in developing countries is threatened by several negative externalities, the society‘s poor sustainable culture, the deficient infrastructures, the informal economy where the scavengers operate, their low levels of human development, non-operable or lack of public policies, the astronomical volume of residues generated and unmanaged by the public services, the huge loss of value by burying the residues in landfills and the inability to contain the leakage to natural ecosystems, contaminating soil and water(Mayenberger, 2019).

These facts can be common reasons for Nigeria as it is among the least developing country in the world and according to SWRDPO (2012), the recycling data that shows the 5% collection experience of solid wastes for the capital city clears that the waste management practice of the country is not different from the developing countries‘ experience. In addition, the growing trend of the country‘s PET bottle water business if it is not managed properly, will affect the environment in both waste volume and value of these disposable at the rate greater than ever.

Though managing of these wastes in its proper treatment alternatives has an opportunity for sustainability of plastic packaging business in general and bottled water business in particular, convincing governmental authorities for their non-operable or lack of public policies is not an easy task. Because, as per Kaggwa (2014),environmental impacts are hardly appreciated by policy and decision makers unless supported by a strong economic case and economic analysis therefore puts environmental impacts in an economic perspective and helps to influence policy and decision making. So far, it is difficult to get economically valuated environmental impacts of packaging wastes of the country. For this reason, this study reveals case type research of Economical Valuated environmental impacts of packaging waste specific to disposable PET water bottles in Port Harcourt.

1.3. Research questions
The study basically aims to answer the following major research questions.

1. What volumes of disposable PET plastic bottles are rejected in Port Harcourt?
2. How much is the valuated environmental impacts of each treatment options for packaging wastes in general and disposable plastic bottles in particular?
3. What are the main problems of existing environmental policy and regulatory frameworks of the country that challenges for the management of disposable PET wastes?
4. What strategic alternatives are proposed to alleviate the problems regarding to management of disposable PET bottles?

1.4. Objectives of the study
1.4.1. General Objective
The main objective of the study is to model economically valuated environmental impacts of plastic packaging wastes in monetary terms for different treatment options of the country in general and Port Harcourt in particular.

1.4.2. Specific Objectives
Moreover, the following are specific objectives of the study:

1. To quantify the estimated amount of disposable PET water bottles in Port Harcourt,
2. To estimate the percentage figure and per unit valuated impact of each treatment options for the same waste.
3. To model and calculate the total environmental valuated impacts of disposable bottles for actual data and alternative waste treatment scenarios.
4. Based on the findings of the study, conclusion and recommendation is proposed.

1.5. Scope and Limitation of the study
The study is conduct for economically valuated environmental impacts of plastic packaging waste specific to disposable PET bottles from Water Companies in Port Harcourt. The valuation model is developed based on BT (Benefit Transfer) techniques and Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) methodology from landfill, incineration and recycles waste treatment options of other countries study.

1.6. Significance of the study
This economic valuation of environmental impacts has become increasingly important in the evaluation of investment projects, government measures and policies and international trade (Marques, 2013). At the forefront, the findings and suggestions of this research will benefit Environmental Protection Authority (EEPA), Port Harcourt Environment Protection and Green Development Commission (AAEPGDC), Port Harcourt Solid Waste Administration Agency (AASWAA), Ministry of Finance and Economy Development (MoFED), Solid waste collector associations of the city, water bottling companies and Packaging industries. In addition, findings from this research paper can help as supporting document during the preparation of plastic packaging waste related policies and operational strategies,. Moreover:

1. It is, believed that this research paper can be used as a source document for those who want to make further study on the area of environmental impact evaluation approaches for municipal solid waste treatment options.

2. This research identifies the estimated quantity of disposable PET water bottles in Port Harcourt. And also, it estimates the environmental impacts of these wastes based on alternative waste treatment approaches for selecting of the safest treatment option.

3. Lastly, the remedies are proposed for sustainable development opportunities of water business and related stakeholder accordingly.

1.7. Organization of the study
The study is organized in five chapters. The first chapter covers the introduction part of the paper and in this chapter background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives, significance, scope and limitation of the study are described in detail. The second chapter deals with literature reviews based on theoretical, imperial and conceptual framework. The third chapter discusses the research methodology of the study. Data analysis and interpretation part of the research is presented in chapter four. And finally, Conclusion and recommendation part of the research has presented in chapter five.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 41 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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