Plastic wastes threat to human health – FCT Perm Sec
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Adesola Olusade, says plastic waste has become a major threat to human health.
The Deputy Director of Information, Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Mrs Janet Peni, said this during a road show to commemorate this year’s World Environment Day, with the theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution.”
Olusade, who was represented by Mr Osi Braimah, Director of AEPB, said that the production, usage and disposal of plastic materials were not only polluting ecosystems, but also putting human and animal health in grave danger.
According to him, plastic pollution also destabilises the climate, globally, plastic waste situation had assumed a worrisome dimension, adding that same also applied to FCT.
“It has also become endemic, with drainage channels, canals and waterways littered with various plastic wastes.
“This contributes significantly to climate change, which results in short term damage, such as erosion and flooding, due to blockages of streams and waterways.
“This is why the matter is of utmost priority, as the world marks yet another World Environment Day in 2023,” Olusade added.
The permanent secretary said, that it was pertinent to bring to the fore the awareness of plastic management as an adaptation strategy to climate change.
“Only an integrated systemic shift from a linear to a circular economy can keep plastics out of our ecosystems and bodies.
“The recent United Nations Environmental Report laid out key elements of the required market transformation, rethinking and redesigning products, reusing, recycling, reorienting and diversifying markets,” he said.
Olusade, however, expressed the optimism that addressing the demand for durable plastics would go a long way in solving the problem.
He noted that governments and the private sector would save money and that hundreds of thousands of new jobs would be created, thus contributing to poverty alleviation, if everyone recognised and play his/her roles.
“Governments will create the regulatory environment to incentivise the shift to a circular economy.
“The political will to do so is demonstrated by the FCT administration, backed by broad-based support by residents of the FCT and Nigerians in general,” he said.
The Chairperson of this year’s World Environment Day Celebration Committee in AEPB, Ms Rebecca Mamven, said that the sensitisation on plastic waste recycling at Utako motor park was strategic.
She said that the road show was aimed at enlightening the public on the beneficial usage of plastics and their harmful effects on the environment.
“Plastics take a very long time to degrade. When you dispose of the plastics, either on water or soil, it affects the quality of the soil and the aquatic life forms,” she said.
Mamven urged Nigerians to sustain the environment for successive generations.
According to her, the activities to mark the day will continue with environmental project exhibition by secondary school students on solutions to plastic pollution.