Earth Day: FG calls for action to end plastic pollution, to phase-out non-biodegradable


As the World marks 2018 Earth Day on Sunday April 22nd with the theme End Plastic Pollution, Nigerians have been urged to use the weekend to celebrate the planet and to take action to protect it by ending plastic pollution. Plastic pollution is poisoning our oceans and land, injuring marine life, and affecting our health.
Government is exploring the possibility of banning plastic bags with availability of alternatives while encouraging household and community recycling of plastic bottles as a matter of community action and of state legislation, said the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril.
Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention On Biological Diversity, Dr. Christiana Pasca Palmer, in a message said unless we take these steps, the problem is not going away in a message. In 1950, the world’s population of 2.5 billion produced 1.5 million tons of plastic; in 2016, a global population of more than 7 billion people produced over 300 million tons of plastic.
“Plastic pollution is now an ever-present challenge. We can see plastics floating in our rivers, ocean, and lagoons, littering our landscapes and affecting our health and, the future of billions of children and youth. We have all contributed to this problem – mostly unknowingly – and we must work to reduce and ultimately to End Plastic Pollution,” says Valeria Merino, Vice-President of Global Earth Day at Earth Day Network.
The Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with critical stakeholders has developed a national strategy for the phase-out of non- biodegradable plastics and is presently developing a National policy on Plastic Waste Management while also implementing a National Plastic Waste Recycling Programme to establish plastic waste recycling plants across the country in partnership with state governments.
Eight Plants have already been completed and handed over to the states of location while 18 others are at various stages of completion. Federal Government is also collaborating with States to establish plastic waste recycling plants under the community based waste management programme of the Ministry. Two plants have been completed in Ilorin, Kwara State, one in Lokoja, Kogi State, while work on another is on-going in Karu LGA of Nasarawa State. Other locations include Bola Jari in Gombe State and Leda Jari in Kano State.
The Minister also uses the opportunity to acknowledge the many social entrepreneurs and waste recycling ventures like Recycle Points, Chanja Datti Recycling, Wecyclers and many others that are contributing to ending Plastics pollution in Nigeria.