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Non-reusable Covers, Panacea for Plastic Re-use, Associated Health Risk – Yusuf

By Obiabin Onukwugha and Faridat Salifu

A social commentator, Rasheed Yusuf has stated that manufacturing non-reusable plastic bottle covers will check associated risks of plastic re-use.

Re-use is one of the measures that has been proffered in checking plastic pollution.

In most cities and rural communities across Nigeria, plastics are used for packaging and selling of edibles such as palm oil, groundnut oil, Zobo drinks, tiger nuts drinks, smoothie and as well as kerosene.

NatureNews checks reveal that most vendors get their empty plastics on the streets, at occasion grounds and even hospitals.

But a recent report has revealed that people who consume drinks from plastic reuse could be infected with viral diseases such as Tuberculosis, cough, Hepatitis, and other communicable diseases.

In Port Harcourt, a 75cl of empty bottle is sold at N20 each, while 35cl is sold at three for fifty naira. It was also revealed that plastic recycling is a lucrative business which makes both children and adults, especially women visit occasion grounds just to pick empty plastics.

Esther, a lady, who sells refilled water told our correspondent that she washes the bottles after every sale before refill. She said due to the economic hardship people prefer to buy her refilled bottle water to satchet and bottle water as it is cheaper.

The mother of four said she buys empty bottles from dedicated suppliers.

Also, a lady who sells palm oil who simply gave her name as Mommy Peace, said she washes her bottles before use. According to her, a rich family supplies her plastics for free, for which she uses them for her trade.

Another lady who sells Zobo, also corroborated with the previous respondents as she assured of washing her bottles before use.

Reacting to the report, Yusuf called on plastic manufacturing and bottling companies such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, amongst others to adopt non-reuseable plastic covers so as to safeguard the health of citizens from such diseases.

He said: “This is a serious matter. I think that the easiest way for companies to check plastic reuse and be able to recover their plastics is to start manufacturing covers that cannot be reused. As soon as the plastic is open, the cover will no longer fit on the bottle.

“So if someone picks up a plastic and the cover is not there, the person will simply leave it. The companies must also come up with feasible measures of recovering their plastics to curb plastic pollution in our environment. That is my thinking and I feel the companies should adopt it,” he stated.

Recently, Nestle introduced a new Pure Life water bottles made from 50% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) to demonstrates a commitment to reducing the use of virgin plastics, noting that combating plastic waste requires more than just producing more plastic bottles.

A recent report published by online medium, Springer, had emphasised sensitisation as one of the solutions to plastic pollution.

The report also emphasized the adoption of eco-friendly alternatives and investing in recycling infrastructure as solution to plastic pollution.

It encouraged the use of reusable bags, water bottles, and utensils, as well as enhancing access to recycling facilities and providing clear guidelines on proper recycling practices, as crucial steps in mitigating the impact of plastic pollution.

The findings presented in the report further underscored the need for collective and immediate action to address the escalating issue of plastic pollution, emphasizing the importance of balanced approaches encompassing education, industry practices, and consumer behavior.

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