Environmental advocates urge total ban of plastics

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

Several environmental advocates have called on the Federal and State Governments in Nigeria to seek alternative and innovative ways of ridding the environment of plastic wastes in the country.

The environmental protection and preservation activists stated this at the cleanup exercises in Kaduna and at the Bonny Cantonment, on Victoria Island, Lagos, Saturday, September 19, 2020.

EnvorinmentNewsNigeria reports that the exercise was carried out to celebrate the International Coastal Cleanup Day, which is marked annually every third Saturday in September of the year.

Dr. Leslie Adogame, Executive Director, Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), who is one of the advocates, called for the ban of single-use plastics in the country.

Adogame said: “The government has to take bold steps to ban single use plastics and replace them with alternatives.

“We can no longer continue to die when we are alive by ingesting microplastics; corporate entities must have a paradigm shift away from plastics.

“This is not a sustainable way; plastic is not part of our system, because it is injurious to life, health and all life chain of this world”

Ms. Adesola Alamutu, Founder, Beach Samaritans, an NGO, also urged the people to be part of the solution by consciously taking a reusable bag when they go out shopping.

The Founder of Beach Samaritans stated: “One of the things I believe people can do is, when they go shopping and are offered plastic bags, they should refuse.

“The more the people who refuse, the less the plastic bags being used and thrown away.

“Also, the government needs to do a lot of enlightenment, especially in the major languages to educate people on the need to carry their bags when going out.

“Government should also ensure people are charged for the plastic bags; that way, people may be discouraged from using it.”

Ms. Doyinsola Ogunye, Founder of Kids Beach Garden, also an NGO, noted that a lot of awareness creation should begin from homes, schools, religious institutions.

According to Ms. Ogunye, consumers need to be consistent and continue to do things to protect the environment in their own little spaces for as long as possible.

She said: “We have young children and we need to let them know that plastic wastes littered everywhere and in our water ways is not the kind to environment to grow up.”

Mr. Omotola Soares, Secretary to Eti-Osa, Imoyi, Obalende Local Council Development Area (LCDA), encouraged consumers to support the government by being responsible with the use of plastics in their environments.

The government has carried out a lot of programmes to ensure the environment is clean, said he.

Soares stated that “the government cannot do it alone. We all need to work together and take responsibility of our environment, because the environment defines who we are.”

Mr. Akinola Onanuga, Director of Media and Online Visibility, Humanity Nigeria, an NGO, also said that the organisation would be carrying out an enlightening programme from November 24 on dangers of plastics.

Onanuga disclosed that the group is “bringing up the Earth Festival in order to rid the environment of plastics and enlighten people that these plastics can be recycled and made into wealth instead of throwing it away and causing harm.”

The Break-Free From Plastic (BFP) Initiative on Saturday called on the government to place a ban on the indiscriminate usage of plastics and polythene and to also enforce laws towards the provision of waste bins in all vehicles and businesses as a critical step to save the environment.

Ibrahim M. S. Said, Chief Executive of BFP Initiative, stated that the organisation decided to commemorate the world Clean Up Day 2020 in order to create awareness at the grassroots on the dangers of indiscriminate waste management, especially after flooding cases occurred in Nigeria, resulting in loss of lives and property.

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