By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The federal government through the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on manufacturers and shopping outlets to adopt bio-degredable packaging for their products to minimise the availability of plastic pollutants in the country.
The Director General of the Agency, Dr. Garba Abari, disclosed this Wednesday in Abuja at a sensitisation programme organised by the Centre for Peace and Environment Justice (CEPEJ) in partnership with NOA to commemorate the World Environment Day (WED), 2018 with the theme, â€œBeat Plastic Pollutantsâ€.
Abari, who was represented by the Director of Documentation and Publication, Mr. Davidson Aminu, said that the theme for this year’s event was apt considering the enormous dangers posed by plastic waste to the environment, planet and by extension, the human existence.
He said it is estimated that 13 million tonnes of plastic pollution find their way into the ocean each year, amounting to approximately 165 million tonnes of pollution in the world’s ocean as at 2012.
Abari said that 83 per cent of tap water samples around the world in 2017 contained plastic pollutants, adding that plastic products take between 50-600 years to decompose.
According to him, â€œWe cannot but admit that yet another invention which positively revolutionised our lives has also become great pollutant potentially threatening life on land and water.”
Continuing, he said: â€œWe cannot lose sight of the fact that this accumulation of plastic products in the environment that adversely affects life is a direct fallout of manâ€™s unhealthy attitude to his environment. Our attitude to ease disposal which pays little heed to the environmental impact of our actions is the real problem.
â€œIf we, as individuals, do not dump refuse indiscriminately, plastic pollutants will not find their way to our water bodies. If we individually refuse to use plastics when we are not sure of reusing them, we can reduce plastic pollution in our environment.
â€œOur manufacturers and shopping outlets must also begin to adopt bio-degredable packaging for their products to minimise the availability of plastic pollutants in out society.â€
To this end, the DG said the agency would deploy the strength of its presence in all 774 local government areas and the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to ensure this attitude change campaign reaches all nooks and crannies of the nation.
Also, the National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Mr. Sheriff Mulade, said it has become important for everyone to take ownership of the environment and actively engage in its protection, to beat plastic pollution, indiscriminate dumping of plastic bags and containers.
He added that collectively, all negativities that are present in the environment can be eliminated, as well as improve on the various development and urbanisation processes towards achieving environmental sustainability.