By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
The Ministry of Environment Anambra State in Conjunction with Anambra State Waste Recyclers Association, ASWRA with a call on Ndi Anambra to shun and adopt stricter measures to control plastic pollution and its growing damage to the environment .
These were words from Stakeholders in Environment Sector who brainstormed on plastic waste control in Awka
According to the United Nations, it takes over four hundred years for plastics to decompose, with more than eight million tonnes of plastics said to end up in the oceans every year.
Speaking virtually, the Minister of State for Environment and Ecology, Dr Izag Salako, said that over one point five million tonnes of plastic waste generated annually in Nigeria are posing serious threat to food safety and quality.
He commended the Anambra State Government for the vision of a clean, green and sustainable initiative, calling on all stakeholders to come together to put a stop to plastic menace in the country.
Dr Salako also added that the federal government is planning on establishing more recycling hubs to help in converting waste to wealth.
For their parts, the Secretary to Anambra State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, the Head of Service, Barrister Theodora Igwegbe, Chief of staff to the governor Mr Ernest Ezeajughi and the Managing Director of Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Adejuwon among others, said that it was important to provide an enabling environment for investments in the recycling business, noting that government was ready to support the efforts geared towards the conversion of waste to wealth, waste to biogas, waste to compost manure, waste to energy and waste to other useful products.
In his address, the Commissioner for Environment, Dr Felix Odimegwu, said recycling hubs and banks are being set up across Anambra State in line with Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s agenda on waste to wealth, adding that plastic wastes can be taken to these hubs and exchanged for cash or other valuable items.
For the ASWRA convener, Barrister Philip Obuesi, it was necessary for all residents to subscribe to the clean, green and sustainable Anambra by changing their attitudes towards the environment.
The keynote speaker, Dr David Onuoha who addressed the topic “overcoming plastic pollution through community empowerment, capacity building and Stakeholders participation: A focus on the communities in Anambra State”, listed some of the causes of plastic pollution to include inadequate waste management, consumer behavior, lack of awareness, plastic production, ineffective regulations, packaging practices, natural events and population growth, adding that the sustainability routes include reuse, recycle, reduce, remove, replace and management and value chain initiative.
The sustainability summit featured presentation of awards, prizes to companies and communities that participated in the just concluded “All Community Plastic Challenge”.