07 June 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — As the campaign to check plastic pollutions grows around the globe, the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, has stressed the need for people to use and reuse plastics to reduce its proliferation.
The Port Harcourt Zonal Director of NOSDRA, Dr. Cyrus Nkangwung stated this at an event organised by the agency to mark the 2018 World Environment Day, lamenting the negative impact of plastics on aquatic lives.
Nkangwung said millions of plastics are trapped in the mangrove swamp, constituting a problem to the ecosystem.
“Plastics should be reused. After using plastics, you keep it for further use, that will reduce the spread of plastics around.
“Go to any waterfront now, you will see the heap of plastics on the waterbody and a lot of them have a very dangerous effect on the ecosystem.
“In most cases, you will see fishermen battling with these plastics and some of these plastics contain substances that also have effects on fishes.
“Since most of these plastics cannot get to the ocean, many of them are entangled in the mangrove swamp constituting a problem, because once they are there the plants’ life are hampered.”
The resources person at the event, Mr. Francis Akabueze, while presenting a paper on ‘beat plastic pollution through reuse’, called for the adoption of sustainable solutions in the use of plastics.
Akabueze lamented that most drainages in the country are blocked because of continuous indiscriminate disposal of plastics.
“We are calling on all the agencies, industries, communities, families and even as individuals let’s come together and explore to find a sustainable alternative to the management and use of plastics.
“It is not proper to just use plastic once and throw it away, it should be accumulated to a large quantity then sent to facilities where plastics are managed.”
Similarly, the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC has raised alarm over the level of plastics pollution, saying habitats are on the verge of extinction following the uncontrolled pollution of the environment with plastics.
SPDC Environment Manager, Mr. Augustine Ibokwu, while speaking at an awareness programme to mark the 2018 World Environment Day, called for increased awareness on the dangers associated with plastic pollution.
“If we fail to do something, the world will get more polluted with plastics, by 2050 the number of plastics we have in the ocean will be more than the number of fishes we have.
“For every minute, with the current consumption and current population, we are generating one million plastic bottles every minute, which means that every year we are generating over 500 billion plastic bottles, this includes plastic bags and other plastic products.
“So we need to create the awareness for people to know the consequences of these plastics waste so that we can leave behind an environment that is good enough for the future generation.”
On his part the Chairman of Nigerian Environmental Society in Rivers State, Mr. Adeyemi Adewale, stressed the need for proper disposal of plastics.
“Plastics are very important, but the disposal and management of the waste of plastic is the problem we have, not just in Nigeria but all over the world and we know that plastics also release toxic chemicals and materials into the air and water when they are burnt, that is why we need to manage plastics very well, and that is why the world is focusing its attention on how to beat plastic pollution.”
It will be recalled that the theme of this year’s world environment day is beat plastic pollution, while Comprehensive Boys Secondary School, Elelenwo won the essay on how to beat plastics pollution in the country.