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Establish recycling plants to check plastic pollution, experts tell FG

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Oando champions cleanup of Ozunba Mbadiwe waterways
In a bid to eliminate plastic pollution in the country, a professor of Botany at the University of Lagos, Dele Olowokudejo, has urged the Federal Government to commence a national plastic waste-recycling programme.

He said authorities should formulate national policy on plastic waste pollution as well as enforce enacted laws to address the environmental challenge to check the menace in the society.

Speaking at an event organised by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) to mark the World Environmental Day, he said the move would help to eliminate environmental effects of plastics.

In his lecture titled: Beat Plastic Pollution, Olowokudejo lamented that the beginning of industrial revolution in the world led to environmental disaster and charged people to preserve the biosphere rather than ruin it, through cooperation and self regulations to save the earth.

In a panel discussion, which featured environmentalists like Mrs. Titi Akosa, Olowokudejo, Mrs. Kofo Adeleke, Lolade Oresanwo and Ebere Akwuebe from the public and private sectors, they called for an integrated approach to curb plastic pollution.

Speaking, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, sought the people’s support to cutback the production and use of single-use plastics that pollute oceans, damage marine life and threaten human health.

Represented by the general manager of LASEPA, Antonio Ayodele, he said: “The Lagos State government has exhibited great leadership on environmental issues as sustainable environment is one of the four developmental pillars of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, this will help stir up greater action against plastics pollution.”

Meanwhile, in commemoration of the 2018 World Environment Day with the theme: Beat Plastic Pollution, Oando PLC championed a clean-up exercise of Cowrie Creek along the Ozumba Mbadiwe waterway.

World Environment Day is an initiative of the United Nations (UN) to encourage global awareness and action to protect the environment.

It is seen as the “people’s day” set aside to do something to take care of the earth.

Speaking on the significance of the initiative, GM Operations Integrity, Oando Energy Resources, Kayode Boladale, said: “We have taken up the mantle to cleanup the Cowrie Creek, Ozumba Mbadiwe waterway in a bid to beat plastic pollution, which is a menace in Lagos.

With a population of over 170 million people, Nigeria produces more plastic waste than its infrastructure could manage.

Lagos, with a population of 21 million inhabitants, produces an upwards of 10,000 metric tons of plastic waste daily and only 40 per cent of the waste is properly disposed while the remaining 60 per cent litters the roads and waterways.

Speaking on the state of waste in the waterways, Managing Director, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Damilola Famakinwa, noted: “Lagosians litter the waterways with empty plastic bottles, nylon and various kinds of filth. This is totally unacceptable by any standard.”


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