By: NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Government has joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2018 World Environmental Day, while calling for sustained awareness, towards addressing the threat posed by plastic pollution across globe.
Speaking on the this year’s theme, “Beat Plastic Pollution”, at a workshop organized to commemorate the day in Abeokuta, the Commissioner for Environment Mr. Bolaji Oyeleye, described plastic pollution as one of the environmental challenges facing the world today, stressing the need for concerted efforts towards arresting the trend.
Oyeleye said that man’s reliance on plastic products has resulted into severe pollution of oceans, which has endangered marine life and posed a great threat to human health.
According to him, the environment was declining rapidly, due to industrialization, deforestation, global warming, pollution and changing in lifestyles.
While calling for recycling of plastic products to reduce pollution, the Commissioner said to effectively clean up and discontinue plastic production, the public must embrace alternatives such as paper bags and recycled bags.
In his speech, an environmental expert from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Professor Toyin Arowolo, identified government interventions, through taxes and levies on the use of plastic, as a vital solution to the challenge, adding that Rwanda, China, Kenya and many other countries had implemented policies aimed at reducing plastic pollution.
He advocated for segregation of waste from homes, in order to reduce the volume of plastic that end up in water bodies, saying Nigerians should also consciously find other alternatives to plastic products.
Presenting the feasibility study of the Solid Waste Management Project in Abeokuta, the Consultant to Ginger Burgeap and French Agency for Development (AFD), Karine Escande, noted that Ogun State must improve its capacity for solid waste collection and reduce waste-to-landfill, in order to have an integrated and sustainable waste management in the State.
She commended the State government’s desire to develop sustainable waste management in all its municipalities, expressing optimism that the State partnership with development partners would yield positive results.