As countries across the world marked World Environment Day (WED) on June 5, 2018, with the theme, ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, an environmentalist, Dr Thaddaeus Thompson, on Thursday, warned against the new embrace and increased use of biodegradable materials.
Thompson who also is Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Safewater Energy & Environment Restoration, Ltd, in his assertion said manufacturers, policy makers in government, consumers, environmentalists, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, communities, and individuals should not bask in the euphoria of now having biodegradable materials.
Safewater Energy & Environment Restoration Ltd specializes in Drinking Water Purification, Disaster Recovery, Environmental Restoration, Rural Electrification, Network/Internet Solutions, and Drones & Logistics Management.
He said: “Too much of everything is bad. This adage might not be true in all aspects of life today, but in some cases, it is simply undeniable. On June 5, 2018 the world celebrated “The World Environmental Day” with much enthusiasm emanating from hopes that a solution to one of the most devastating effects on planet earth caused by plastic has been achieved scientifically by means of biodegradation.
“It is quite agreeable that plastic pollution has a broader devastating effect and must be substituted or reduced and possibly be replaced by biodegradable materials. Not too fast. A lot of praise has been given to biodegradable waste and truly, some have been phenomenal; however, the threat and danger associated with over-production and the rush for anything that creates wealth might circumvent the prospects of lasting success.
“Biodegradable utensils are flooding markets across the developed world and are being promoted in underdeveloped countries as substitute for plastic utensil without addressing the concerns of the dangers posed by mass production.
“The world must learn a lesson from the plastic rush and the short time it took plastic to overwhelm human’s ability to control its production. Research shows that although people, animals and the environment benefit from biodegradation, it causes some problems and must be seriously considered before repeating the mistakes made on plastic.”
According to him the implication on the use of biodegradable materials could lead to grave consequences on the environment and negative impact on human, animals and plant lives in a short period of time.
“Too much biodegradable waste in a water supply can deplete its oxygen. In addition, some types of biodegradable waste, such as cattle, poultry and pork manure in high concentration could cause environmental and health problems.
“Most outdoor and indoor gatherings and parties proudly use biodegradable utensils, and users are often informed that they could be disposed anywhere and would disintegrate into the environment. This is simply not true because when a biodegradable utensil comes in contact with the natural earth, the two do not mix. Natural compost will mix with a natural earth but not with a foreign or artificial material”, he stated.
He also raised concerns over highly populated countries across the world like China, India, Nigeria, and others that these biodegradable materials used in these countries could replicate environmental disasters created by uncontrolled excessive plastic waste production.
“In densely populated countries such as Nigeria, India and China, allowing biodegradable waste without a provisional volume-control system in place will be nothing short of replicating the environmental disasters created by uncontrolled excessive plastic waste production.
He maintained that the best way to preserve the environment from plastic pollution (Non-degradable and biodegradable plastics) lies on more public awareness and enlightenment on the recycling plastic materials that would drastically reduce pollution of the environment.
“I strongly believe that nations will accomplish more if citizens are educated to recycle plastic or reduce its use drastically or control the volume of biodegradable materials”, he added.