Osinbajo charges individuals, organisations to control plastic pollution

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The vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has charged individuals and corporate bodies to control the proliferation of plastic sachets by putting in place recycling programmes to make the environment as free of plastics as possible.

Speaking at the World Environment Day 2018 held yesterday in Abuja, the vice president said current researches show that plastics that have not been burnt or recycled could be in excess of 4.5 billion tons with much of that ending up in the ocean and becoming almost impossible to retrieve.

He said the federal and state governments had put in place a number of initiatives to address plastic pollution.

“The federal government is also collaborating with State Governments to establish plastic waste recycling plants, under the community-based waste management programme in the ministry.

“Two plants have been completed in Ilorin, Kwara State, one in Lokoja, Kogi State, while work on another is ongoing in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. In addition, two privately run programmes are Bola Jari (means waste to wealth) in Gombe State and Leda Jari (means converting nylon bags to wealth) in Kano State. These initiatives are encouraged and supported by government.”

“Nigeria is in a good place to lead Africa and indeed the world in beating plastic pollution, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, there are a good number of effective initiatives already, which we are considering as we develop policies,” he said.

He stated further: “On our part as the federal government of Nigeria, we have tried to remain ahead of the curve in planning, policy and reform. The ministry of environment, in collaboration with critical stakeholders, has developed a national strategy for the phasing out of non-bio gradable plastics. The ministry is also developing a national plastic waste recycling programme, involving the establishment of plastic waste recycling plants across the country in partnership with state governments. A total of eight plants have already been completed and handed over to the States while 18 others are at various stages of completion.”

To control the proliferation of plastic sachets, Osinbajo said the major producers of fast moving goods should put in place recycling programmes that could effectively ensure that while efforts are being made to seek environmentally friendly options for packaging, the environment is rid of plastics as much as possible.

“Coca-Cola has committed to collecting and recycling the equivalent of all the drink containers it shifts each year, including 110 billion plastic bottles. Consumer-goods giants such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble, have also begun to use more recycled plastics.

‘We expect that these consumer giants will make and fulfill these same pledges here in Nigeria and also partner with governments, including States and Local Governments, to ensure that we maintain the critical balance between economic growth and a safe and liveable environment,” said the vice president.

 

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