Curb plastic waste, avoid climate change repercussions – UI Don, Oyediran warns FG
A Professor of Environmental and Engineering Geology at the University of Ibadan, Ibrahim Adewuyi Oyediran has advised the Federal government and other stakeholders to curb the menace of plastic waste without delay. Oyediran said this has become necessary to avoid, impending soil and water pollution which may result in a threat to wildlife and worsening climate change in the country. The University Don made the call during an interview with DAILY POST in Ibadan on Monday. The registered Geoscientist explained that greenhouse gas emissions have been linked to the life cycle of plastics with varied impacts on biodiversity and human health through exposure to hazardous chemicals. He observed that the world has become so involved with plastics that around 430 million tonnes are produced in a year, regretting that most of the plastics become waste and have devastating effects on the ecosystem, wildlife, health and well-being of humans. Oyediran urged the federal and state governments and other stakeholders to take necessary steps to curb the menace of plastic waste warning that the pollution can alter natural processes and reduce the ecosystem's ability to adapt to climate change. He added that regulations must be put in place to support the transition of plastics, noting that people should start to look for how to eliminate the plastics they do not need. He tasked the federal government to invest in educating the public and creating awareness of the menace of plastic pollution and its repercussions. Oyediran said, "Plastics are mostly synthetic materials made from polymers. You can get plastics from fossil fuels. We use plastic in our day-to-day life in our cars, offices, homes, devices, components of equipment, clothes and even as gift items at parties. It is relatively cheap to produce, it is durable, flexible and easy to transport. Unfortunately, the world is only seeing the Macro plastics and not the microplastics which are tiny fragments polluting our soil, and water supplies and eventually get into our bodies. "Greenhouse gas emissions have been linked to the life cycle of plastics with varied impacts on biodiversity and human health through exposure to hazardous chemicals. According to the UN, the plastic pollution crisis stems from the fact that plastic is currently produced, used and discarded. The use is often just once. As a result of the menace of Plastic pollution, the theme for this year's World Environment Day is Solutions to plastic pollution under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution. This underscores the importance placed on Plastic pollution. It's been observed that the world has become so involved with plastics that around 430 million tonnes of plastic is produced in a year. "The Nigerian government must invest in educating the public and create awareness on the menace of plastic pollution and its repercussions. "Need to invest in proper recycling and waste management infrastructure, impose taxes to deter the production or use of single-use plastic, or offer tax breaks, subsidies and other fiscal incentives to encourage alternatives. For example, the UK has started taxation on virgin plastic production. Revenues from this tax may be used to scale plastics collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure. "Install free public water fountains on campus to encourage people to avoid single-use plastic water bottles. Find ways to ensure the removal of microplastics from affluents perhaps with proper investment in wastewater treatment plants. Eliminate unnecessary packaging, limit overpackaging and provide clear labels to support correct recycling.