Asiodu, others seek enforcement of single-use plastics ban
The President, Board of Trustees, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Chief Philip Asiodu has urged the federal government to enforce the 2013 international ban on single-use plastics, which Nigeria subscribed to, as means of mitigating the nuisance of plastic waste pollution in the country.He said to tackle plastic pollution, authorities must ensure that Nigerians adopt the three Rs’ approach which are, reduce, reuse, and recycle or refuse completely.
The former Petroleum Minister stated this at the weekend during the 2019 yearly Walk for Nature, with the theme, ”Plastic pollution: The enemy of our development agenda”, in Lagos. He stressed that the menace of plastic pollution goes beyond single use pet bottles and plastic bags adding that plastic components such as, shampoo bottles, freezer bags, protective packaging like, styro-foams are part of the problem, hence the need for federal government to urgently start the enforcement of the ban nationwide.
Asiodu advised that government could put deliberate measures in place to fight the menace of plastic pollution through public awareness campaigns, by offering incentives for recycling, introducing levies and outright ban of single use plastics.
The planet, he observed was drowning in plastic pollution and the amount of plastics produced yearly is almost the weight of human population. Out of this, he said only nine per cent of all plastics produced has been successfully recycled, 12per cent incinerated while a staggering 79per cent end up in our environment.
He disclosed that most of the plastics are carried through rivers and lagoons and end up in the ocean with over eight million tons yearly warning that if the situation continues at this rate, scientist have predicted that by the year 2050, we could have more plastic in our oceans than fish.
“Nigeria has been reported as one of the countries that generate high volumes of plastic waste and with the least ability to adequately manage plastic waste. It is currently estimated that Nigeria generates about 2.8 million kg/day of plastic wastes of which 81per cent is mismanaged. This is definitely not in line with our development agenda”, he stated.
Lagos state commissioner for the environment and water resources, Mr. Tunji Bello during the four Kilometer walk, warned that the rich ecosystem in Lagos state, which is home to a variety of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals are under serious threat due to plastic pollution. He advised residents to develop a change of attitude to polluting the environment with plastics wastes.
The commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Belinda Odeneye said, “16 out of the 20 local government of the state now form one of the largest urban conurbations on the planet as the Lagos megacity. “There has been surge of plastic pollution and we need to slow the flow at its source, improve the way we manage plastic. Plastic waste whether in river, ocean, drainage or on land could persist in the environment for centuries and if current trends continue, our oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050.”
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