Experts seek alternative to plastic materials
The Head of Social and Environmental Forestry, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Ibadan, Prof. Busuyi Agbeja, made the appeal during a lecture at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB).
He said: “To avoid the danger of plastic pollution, Nigeria should commence the planting of Gmelina arborea for huge production of paper. This would reduce the use of plastic in our environment.”
Agbeja declared that plastic pollution had resulted into the gradual defacing of the country’s environment, and one of the biggest challenges facing the world today.
He disclosed that plastic products have attractive qualities as versatility, lightweight, and flexibility, and are also moisture resistant, strong and relatively inexpensive.
The expert said ecologists have long denounced plastic as a long-lasting pollutant that does not fully break down.
While noting that it is not biodegradable, he said an accumulated plastic pollution worldwide ultimately ends up in the sea.
Agbeja explained: “Tons of plastic debris are discarded every year, everywhere, polluting lands, rivers, coasts, beaches and oceans all over the world.”
He said Nigeria is a typical example of West Africa country where plastic pollution is very serious.
According to him, the use of plastic had become a serious challenge because, if we visit parks, markets, roads and public institutions, hardly is awareness raised about how it is everyone’s duty to take care of the environment.
Agbeja disclosed that plastic wastes consumed by fishes are also dangerous to human beings when they eat them.
He said this was because such plastics are likely to find their way into the tissues of human bodies with potentially harmful consequences.
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