By: Darlington Omotoso, Precious Demide & Arthur Ogbo
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, (FCTA), Mr. Olusade Adesola, has challenged residents of the Federal Capital Territory to cultivate better ways of disposing plastic waste to reduce environmental pollution.
The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, gave this challenge during the celebration of 2023 World Environmental Day in Abuja Monday.
Adesola reiterated that the challenge has become necessary to frontally confront issues of global warming and environmental degradation.
His words: “We have to change how we produce, use and dispose plastic waste because plastic pollution is choking our planet and we must nip it in the bud.”
The Permanent described the theme of this year’s celebration, “Solutions to plastic pollution, under the United Nations global campaign tagged “#BeatPlasticPollution,” as apt as it is aimed at significantly reducing and ultimately eliminating plastic pollution, both in terrestrial and aquatic environments.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented at the occasion by the Director, Office of the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr. Udo Attang, revealed that recent United Nations data shows that about 400MT of plastic wastes are generated every year and it is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic waste in oceans than fish.
“This alarming projection brings to fore, the need to develop sustainable solutions to plastic waste management either by minimization or re-use by developing an economy around plastic waste,” he said.
Adesola remarked that just recently the UN Environment Programme outlined solutions to cut global plastic pollution in its report- ‘Turning off the Tap: How the world can end plastic pollution and create a circular economy.
“This report emphasizes the need for urgent action to end plastic pollution and calls for a shift towards a circular economy, which would involve reduction in production of single-use plastics, promoting sustainable alternatives and improving waste management in general,” he restated.
Adesola, whilst acknowledging that, some cities in Nigeria are faced with the problem of plastic littering and plastic wastes clogging drainage systems and waterways, leading to flooding and associated health risks, also enumerated measures taken in the FCT to offer a sustainable solution.
“In the FCT, we have continually encouraged waste segregation at source and we have ongoing pilot projects in Life Camp, Gwarinpa II, Wuse 2 and other parts of the FCC. The Abuja Environmental Protection Board Blue Bin Programme is designed to ensure proper waste disposal and waste sorting at source. We also have an on-going programme in the Abuja Environmental Protection Board supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA on Promoting Sustainable Plastic Value Chains Through Circular Economy Practices,” he restated.
Also speaking, Director of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board,(AEPB), Engr. Osi Braimah, disclosed that over 400 million tons of plastic is produced Worldwide, every year, a third of which is used only once.
“It is important to know that plastic is made from fossil fuels, and the more plastic we produce, the more fossil fuel we burn, and the worse we make the climate crisis become,” he added.
“Every day, the equivalent of over 2000 garbage trucks full of plastic is dumped into our oceans, rivers, and lakes, and much more littered across cities, towns and in various communities, damaging the ecosystem. If you take a visit to a dump site today, you see huge, huge tons of plastic staring back at you. The consequences are catastrophic as microplastics find their way into the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe,” the Director stressed.