World Environment Day: VC, HOMEF caution on menace of plastic pollution in the wake of rapid industrialization
A non-governmental organization, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) on Monday reiterated the need to ensure reduction in plastic waste to minimize the damage done to the environment following the menace of plastic pollution.
Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) Nnimmo Bassey, who led other environmentalists to celebrate the world Environment Day , noted that this year’s theme for the World Environment Day, Solutions to Plastic Pollution reiterated the benefits of recycling/reuse of plastic waste to promote wellness as well as create wealth.
Bassey , an environmentalist and activist spoke in Benin city during the School of Ecology on climate change tagged:, ” Arts, Culture and Wellness” orgnised by HOMEF in commemoration of the World Environment Day.
He said the World Environment Day today presents another opportunity to review actions and efforts taken over the years to protect the environment.
Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University (IUO), Okada, Prof Lawrence Ezemonye on Monday advocated the use of technological innovations to manage plastic waste crises in Nigeria.
Ezemonye made the call during the university’s college of Natural and Applied Science annual lecture which coincided with the World Environment Day held in Okada, Edo State.
Speaking on the topic,” Solving Plastic Waste Problems through strategies and Innovation”, Ezemonye said, plastics pose environmental pollution problems if not managed.
He disclosed that Africa generated plastic waste of approximately 8.5 million tons out of the 380 million tons of plastic waste generated globally, making it a major contributor to the global plastic waste crises
The vice Chancellor noted that about eight million tons of those plastic waste find their way into the ocean, which he said was equivalent to dumping of garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute.
” Africa’s plastic waste generation has reached critical levels and needed urgent attention using technology and innovations.
“Nigeria generate approximately three million tons of plastic waste annually making it the highest plastic waste generator in Africa, posing severe threat to the environment and the entire ecosystem.
“The rapid population growth, urbanization and the increasing consumption patterns have contributed to the surge in plastic waste generation in Nigeria.
“Plastic waste also contaminates the soil and disrupt agricultural productivity and posing risk to our food value chains,” he said.
Also speaking, a Professor of Environmental Microbiology and Director of Center for Environment, Lancaster University, Prof. Kirk Semple, said one of the major causes of deaths across the globe was pollution.
In his paper presentation, titled,” Bioavailability of pollutants in soil: Fundamentals to application”, Semple said pollution was a global phenomenon with higher rate in the third world countries.