By Lanre Adesanya
In line with the theme of the 2018 World Environment Day, “Beat Plastic Pollution”, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Blossom Africa Initiative, has embarked on campaign to reduce plastic waste in Lagos.
The development focused NGO which is all out to create awareness about the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), joined the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), last week to celebrate the world environment day.
In furtherance of the campaign, a team of the organisation in their branded T-shirt stormed Ikeja Shopping Mall to educate consumers about the need to reduce plastic waste which they said poses deadly threat on environment safety, also sensitised them via distribution of flyers.
Speaking with journalists after the exercise, the BAI President Temitope Musowo said the exercise was important to send signal to stakeholders that campaign about protection of our environment should not be a once- in- a -year affair.
“Every year, we come together to celebrate World Environment Day and after the usual noise about protection of the environment it all ends there, we go back to business as usual, people still continue polluting our environment, this should not be a one off campaign, it should be a continuous exercise until people get the message.
Do you know how much harm plastic pollution is doing to our environment and marine life, if I have my way I will push for outright ban of plastic use in Lagos in particular, especially single use plastic, and this is why I said that, for instance, Lagos generate 16,000 metric tons of waste on daily basis, which means Lagos generate 1600 metric tons of plastic waste daily because findings have revealed that 10% of all waste generated is plastic,” he said.
Musowo further condemned what he described as single-use plastic which he said form 50% of the plastic waste, saying it takes an average of 500 years for plastic to decompose while we use our plastic bags for just an average of 12 minutes.
According to the President, one of the reasons we experience perennial flooding in Lagos is because of metric tons of plastic waste that find their ways into the sewage system, providing breeding space for Mosquitoes and raising the risk of malaria transmission.
“Do you know that every year, the world use 500 billion plastic bags, about 13 million tons of plastic leak into the ocean, do you know every year, 17 million barrels of oil is used to produce plastic bottle for our water and if we continue like this by year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s ocean”, he maintained.
He called on everyone to be part of the solution to plastic pollution by switching from single-use plastic to biodegradable products and improve waste collection by sorting, recycling and reprocessing while making environmental friendly choices.