An Environmentalist, Mr Benson Abu, has said that it took over 400 years for plastic waste to decompose, waning against excess dependence on plastics.
Abu, Counsellor, Rivers Chapter, Waste Management Society of Nigeria, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.
Abu said there was need for a quick shift or reduced use of plastics and urged government at all levels to adopt recycling strategy.
He said that plastic waste management had become a global problem that called for action which, according to him, formed this year’s World Environment Day theme: “Beating Plastic Pollution’’.
“Almost everything around us is packaged in plastics, the eatery, laundry, beverage, electronics, drinks and others are all packaged in plastics whose end products are waste either buried in the soil or littered on water bodies.
“These plastic waste because they are non-biodegradable occupy our water bodies destroying aquatic animals, plants and humans.
“If use of plastics is not greatly reduced, plastic waste will eventually constitute a problem to humans in the future since it takes over 400 years it to complete decomposition process.
“That means a whole lot of chemical and space problem to plants and animals,’’ he said.
Abu urged the government to ensure policies that would regulate waste management to encourage sorting from primary dump sites and enhance easy assemblage of plastic waste for onward conveyance to specified dump sites.
He appealed to town planners to set aside special dump sites for plastic waste to enable waste collectors assemble only plastic wastes on such sites.
The environment expert also enjoined government to partner with the private sector to invest in waste recycling as this, according to him, is a capital intensive venture.
He said that revenue, employment generation and a robust environment preservation strategy were some of the key benefits in wastes recycling enterprise.
NAN learnt that some residents in parts of Port Harcourt have condemned incessant burning of tyres around the riverside areas.
Some residents of Elechi Beach, Diobu area of Port Harcourt, urged the government to monitor waste management processes by operating companies and vulcanizers in the state.
Mr Ema Jude, a civil servant and resident of Mile 2 area, said residents were being subjected to unhealthy gas emissions from burning of tyres.
“The government should ensure an end to this poisonous gas emissions from burning of tyres and other non-biodegradable and chemical waste by operating companies in this area
“As residents, we are helpless, we consciously inhale this poisonous gas that is hazardous to our health, and there is virtually nothing we can do except the government comes to our aid by regulating companies’ operational standards.
“This poisonous emissions also depletes the ozone layer which is a major cause of global warming and climate change,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Rivers Government has in a statement to commemorate the 2018 World Environment Day, promised to pay more attention to the environment.
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