Plastic waste: Sanwo-Olu urges cooperation against menace
Worried that Lagos generates about 870,000 tonnes of plastic waste yearly, the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, called on all residents to take up the responsibility and collaborate with government to ensure a sustainable solution to plastic pollution to make the state safer, cleaner and healthier.
The governor, who spoke at the Year 2023 World Environment Day celebrations, with the theme, “Solutions to Plastic Pollution”, at Adeyemi Bero Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, said the target of protecting the environment, which is a common heritage would be achieved, if residents sustain the collaboration with the state.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Nurudeen Shodeind, said the 2023 event, which focused on environmental concerns such as pollution, overpopulation, global warming, waste management and protection of wildlife is being celebrated in the five divisions of the state namely: Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos-Island and Epe simultaneously.
He stressed that Lagos State being a megacity with an approximated population of 22 million inhabitants, generates about 870,000 tonnes of plastic wastes yearly, which constitute about 15 per cent of the total waste generated in the state.
Sanwo-Olu said globally, only 20 per cent of plastics produced are being recycled while the rest are thrown into the drains and oceans, adding that this poses a greater threat to humanity.
According to him, as a demonstration of commitment to its ministerial responsibility, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and some agencies such as Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) have initiated the launching of several initiatives such as policy initiation, environmental advocacy, buy-back programme amongst others to mitigate the challenge of plastic waste management in the State.
The governor explained that the Ministry also recently embarked on replication of the recycling banks in government residential estates, schools, communities and markets after a successful implementation of a pilot scheme within the catchment areas of the State Secretariat Complex, Alausa.
He stated that as part of efforts to make the state cleaner, the Ministry commenced the community recyclable management programme and the first one was launched in Ifako-Ijaye Local Council in March 2023.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Office of Environmental Services, Mr. Gaji Omobolaji, who was represented by the Director, Environmental Education, Mrs. Monsurat Banire, said the steps governments and businesses are taking to tackle plastic pollution need to be scaled up through policies and awareness to accelerate this action and transition to a circular economy.
Various categories of awards were presented to individuals, corporate organisations, Community Development Areas (CDA), schools amongst others, including a former Permanent Secretary (Environmental Services), Mrs. Belinda Odeneye, Access Bank Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, while Miss Olubitan Oluwakorede emerged winner of the Youth Video Competition, with Bada Abdulsalam and Bola Lawal Iyi-Krisit the first and second runners up respectively.