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Need For Nation-wide Ban On Single-use Plastics

By Ojugbele Omotunde

The need for the federal government of Nigeria to ban single-use plastics has become imperative in order to solve part of her myriad of environmental issues.

Ban on single use plastic is key to sustainable, greener, and cleaner future and improved public health for the citizenry.

Before the advent of plastics and cellophane bags, bottles were used for drinks, while baskets were used for shopping. During this era, the streets, drainages, rivers and the environment at large was cleaner as these products are durable and take more time to break.

Also, straws were introduced after it was said that rust from bottled drinks were harmful to health.

But over the years, these alternative use to bottles and baskets have become an albatross to the environment, not just in Nigeria but globally.

These plastics which include straws, bottles, and bags, contribute significantly to pollution. They damage ecosystems and wildlife when they end up in rivers, landfills, and the ocean.

Thus when plastic garbage are improperly disposed of, drainage systems become clogged, which can result in flooding and the spread of disease.

Reports have it that marine wildlife such as seabirds, whales, fish and turtles mistake plastic waste for prey; most then die of starvation as their stomachs become filled with plastic. They also suffer from lacerations, infections, reduced ability to swim, and internal injuries.

On the other hand, these plastics have contributed to environmental degradation and land waste as they don’t dissolve under ground, even if they remain there for several years.

Prohibiting these products will promote the use of more environmentally friendly substitutes such as containers, reusable bags and raffia baskets.

Adopting reusable products will also contribute to resource conservation, waste reduction and encourage a sustainable and conscientious consumption culture.

Furthermore, implementing such restriction will demonstrate Nigeria’s dedication to environmental management and sustainability. It will show off the nation’s initiative in tackling environmental issues.

In order to achieve support and cooperation, public awareness campaigns and education on the significance of reducing plastic waste is essential in this regard.

The Federal Ministry of Environment will need to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Information and the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in the production of jingles and documentaries for effective sensitisation campaign.

Such campaigns should be taken to schools, markets and religious worship places.

There is also a need for the enactment of law by the national assembly on the ban of single-use plastics and the time is now.

 

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