NESREA, FRIN Collaborate To Reduce Plastic Pollution
Written by Teniola Akerele on June 6, 2023
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency in collaboration with the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria has intensified efforts to reduce plastic pollution in Nigeria.
This was made known at a symposium hosted by FRIN in conjunction with NESREA and Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN), Oyo State chapter, on Monday in Ibadan in commemoration of 2023 World Environment Day.
June 5th is observed as World Environment Day every year to raise awareness and promote initiatives to safeguard and conserve the environment. The theme for the 2023 World Environment Day was “Beat Plastic Pollution.”
The Director-General of FRIN, DR Zacharia Buba-Yaduma, in his opening remarks said that plastic pollution had become a major environmental problem requiring immediate attention and action.
Buba-Yaduma noted that plastic pollution has become a global issue that affects not only the environment but also human health and economy.
He called on governments, businesses and individual to work together to find sustainable solutions for the protection of the planet and its inhabitants.
“Every year, about eight millions metric tons of plastic waste ends up in our oceans, causing harm to marine life and ecosystem. This pollution also affects human health as micro plastics have been found in food, water and even the air we breathe.
“One of the most effective ways to reduce plastic pollution is to reduce dependence on single-use plastic. Government can ban or restrict the use of single-use plastics such as straws, bags and utensils.
“Businesses and individuals can also take action by using sustainable alternatives such as biodegradable plastics or reusable containers and packaging, “he said.
Also speaking, Dr Peter Ogar, a Researcher, called on government to encourage circular economy that would be strengthened by the appropriate legislation.
Ogar added that such legislation should also canvass for research funds into the possibility of using recycled plastics to make valuable things such as roads and bridges.
Also, Dr Kehinde Aina, noted that Nigeria could only maintain her supposed leadership role on Africa, given that it builds enough recycling facilities in the country.
Aina added that there must be strategic efforts toward reducing the generation of plastic waste and as much as possible reduces the amount that ends up in the ocean.
In her submission, the Founder, Waste Museum, Ibadan, Mrs Jumoke Olowookere, said that plastic waste contributes immensely to climate change which has caused food shortage, more health risks, loss of plants and animals species, severe storms among others.
Olowookere called for the adoption of plastic reuse, recycle, upcycle, reduce, repair and also refuse the use of plastic when possible to ensure healthy environment.