As environment-conscious people and nations all over the globe observed this year’s World Environment Day, with focus on Ecosystem Restoration, under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution, the African Indigenous Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development, AIFES has joined the campaign, calling on peoples around the world to be more sensitive and commit themselves to stopping the damaging effects of plastic wastes to the environment.
According to the Executive Director, Legborsi Saro-Pyagbara, AIFES is worried by the fast and unabated destructive and indiscriminate activities of users of plastic materials on the ecosystem, particularly the drains, streams, rivers, other water bodies, and the careless disposal of these materials in other undesignated areas in the neighbourhoods. He used this year’s anniversary to advocate strict compliance to regulatory Provisions and laws for bagging of all domestic and industrial wastes, recycling of used plastic materials and a stop to dumping of malleable items in the drains and other water ways.
While the use of plastics cannot be avoided at homes, offices and public places, AIFES Director said it is important that citizens, particularly users make conscious efforts to properly dispose them after use, considering the hazards and challenges they constitute to the environment and activities of other people.
Most worrisome according to AIFES, is the indiscriminate dumping of these plastics in the drains and most water ways, which it said causes blockage, resulting in flooding and filthiness of the environment.
Having suffered the hazards overwhelmingly, the African Indigenous Foundation believes this year’s World Environment Day affords us the opportunity not only to draw global attention to the plights of people living at the waterfronts and in the coastal communities contending with the invading plastic flood.
“It therefore called on government agencies and companies to provide receptacles and polyethylene bags for the citizens to use at homes, in the offices, streets, public places and neighborhoods.
“It is also imperative that measures be put in place by the government to prevent and checkmate the wrongful use and disposal of these plastics by both corporate and individual citizens. We propose the setting up of monitoring agents and special marshals for community surveillance and information on the indiscriminate use of the materials by households, business operators and other corporate bodies.
“The federal and sub national governments should also establish functional recycling plants for plastic wastes and engage scavengers to pick up the waste materials from the streets and public places. Neighbourhood sanitation agents should also be commissioned in all local government areas, while the State Sanitation Authority be empowered to properly execute laws prohibiting indiscriminate dumping of waste without exception.
“It is our conviction that if the above measures are taken appropriately, there will be drastic reduction in not only plastic pollution but harmful practices in wastes generation, handling and disposal. The use of fungal enzymes like hydrolases and oxidoreductases in plastic biodegradation is also recommended,” AIFES declared.