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UN predicts more plastic products in oceans than fishes by 2050


UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres gives a speech during the 54th Munich Security Conference on February 16, 2018 in Munich, southern Germany.Global security chiefs and top diplomats attend the annual Munich Security Conference running until February 18, 2018 to discuss Syria, Ukraine and other international conflicts and crises. / AFP PHOTO / Thomas KIENZLE

• Experts seek legislation against wastes
• India to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2022

The United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, says the uncensored use of plastics all over the world, would make them to outnumber fishes in oceans by 2050. Guterres declared this in his speech to mark the 2018 World Environment Day.

The theme of his message was: “Beat the plastic pollution, environmental, social and economic concerns.”He warned that the world is “currently swamped by harmful plastic water, and micro-plastics in the seas, which now outnumber stars in the galaxy.”He explained that eight million tonnes of plastic end up the oceans every year from the remote islands to the Arctic, as “nowhere is untouched by the presence of plastics.

Also, environmentalists in Nigeria have urged the Federal Government to create policies to monitor the production and use of plastics in the country.Executive Director, ‎Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev Nigeria), Leslie Adogame, urged government to focus on plastic materials in managing the environment, especially the single use plastics.

The executive director said this was necessary because the use of plastics have had severe environmental and health consequences in the country.“Government should declare plastic an emergency zone, and take the issue with the highest priorities, because we are in bad times with plastic wastes. It is high time that the government places an environmental tax on plastic materials, particularly the single use plastics,” the SRADev boss said.

The expert urged governments, industries, communities, and individuals to explore sustainable alternatives and urgently reduce the production and excessive use of single-use plastic.The immediate past Chairman of Nigerian Environmental Society, Olu Andah, also counselled Nigerians to take proactive measures to end plastic pollution and protect the planet.

“We can see plastics floating in our rivers, ocean, and lagoons, littering our landscapes and affecting our health and the future of billions of children and youths,” he said.He continued: “The sight of plastic bags and bottles on the road, in homes and littered in the environment is a nuisance to the environment.“When some of the compounds of these plastic products find their way into the human or animal body, they cause various health problems”

Meanwhile, India’s Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has announced that India will eliminate all single-use plastics by 2022.“It took us 20 years to eradicate polio from India. But if we have an army of volunteers, it would take us less than 20 years to eradicate single-use plastic from India,” he said in a statement to mark the day.

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Antonio Guterres
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