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World Earth Day: FG May Ban Plastic Bags



As Nigeria joined stakeholders globally to commemorate this year’s edition of World Earth day, the federal government has mulled the possibility of banning plastic bags even as it sought legislation to encourage households and community recycling of plastic bottles.

Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration in Abuja yesterday, ‘End Plastic Pollution’, the  minister of state for environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril stated that plastic pollution is poisoning the oceans, land, marine life and human health.

He noted that the ministry in collaboration with critical stakeholders has developed a national strategy for the phase-out of non- biodegradable plastics and presently developing a National policy on Plastic Waste Management.

Jibril also confirmed that the ministry is implementing a national plastic waste recycling programme targeted at establishing plastic waste recycling plants across the country in partnership with state governments.

The minister emphasised that eight plants have been completed and handed over to  state governments while 18 others are at various stages of completion.

A statement made available to LEADERSHIP by the special assistant on Communications and Stakeholders’ Engagement to the minister, Esther Agbarakwe revealed that federal government is also collaborating with states to establish plastic waste recycling plants under the community based waste management programme of the ministry.

He said: “Two plants have been completed in Ilorin, Kwara state; one in Lokoja, kogi state while others are on-going in Karu, Nasarawa state; Bola Jari in Gombe state and Leda Jari in Kano state.

While acknowledging waste recycling ventures like Recycle Points, Chanja Datti Recycling, Wecyclers for their contributions in ending plastic pollution, he urged Nigerians to take urgent action in ridding the earth of plastic pollution.

In her message, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention On Biological Diversity, Dr. Cristiana Paşca Palmer recalled that in 1950 that the world’s population of 2.5 billion produced 1.5 million tons of plastic saying that a global population of more than 7 billion people produced over 300 million tons of plastic in 2016. 

Also, the vice-president of Global Earth Day at Earth Day Network, Valeria Merino pointed out that plastic pollution is now an ever-present challenge as seen floating on rivers, oceans and lagoons thereby littering the landscapes and affecting the health and future of billions of children and youth.

She stated that the entire population have contributed to the problem unknowingly and must work hard to reduce and ultimately end plastic pollution.