Environmental pollution is one of the problems facing our country, Nigeria. The country is occupied by millions of peoples whose daily activities directly or indirectly threaten the environment. Pollution is one of the negative consequences of man’s interaction with his environment. Take plastics for instance, they serve a variety of purpose to man. They are used in waste collection, water storage, packaging. They are used in making helmets, cell phones, electronic devices and lot of other things that make life easier. Plastics are so useful and strong that humans have become increasingly dependent on it. To meet the increasing demands, different varieties of plastics are produced annually; the quantity runs into millions.
One direct consequence of this increase in plastic production is pollution. Plastics, because of their polymeric nature, persist in the environment. This situation is further worsened by improper disposal of used plastics. This improper disposal of plastics is quite common in Nigeria where we find plastic litters in our streams and rivers, public places, roads and waterways. The results are clogged drainage systems and destruction of marine life.
In this twenty first century, plastic pollution is no longer a national environmental concern but a global one. It needs to be addressed urgently. To achieve this, we need to design a recycling system that works and devise a means of adequate plastic waste collection. Now, getting into the recycling business offers a dual advantage. It keeps dirt off the street and it puts money into the hands of the people. State governments, non-governmental organizations and even private sector can collaborate in the establishment of plastic collection centres at strategic places within each state.
However, it is a matter of utmost importance to make the people buy into the goal of Ending Plastic Pollution. The easiest way to achieve this is to offer incentives to people. What if people are paid for each plastic bottle they drop at the collection centre? What if we had a Government -NGO partnership that allows indigent parents to pay for their children’s tuition or medical bills with plastic bottles? These incentives would certainly motivate people to key into the End Plastic Pollution campaign.
In conclusion, the environment is the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the life we have. It is nature’s gift to us. We need to preserve it for if we allow plastic pollution to continue, it will destroy our environment.
Encyclopedia Britannica, “Plastic Pollution in Oceans and on Land”
Precious Akanonu and Onome Pearl Oraka, “Plastic Pollution: Implications and Way Forward” cseaafrica
Jennifer Williams, “How to get in the Recycling Business with Plastic Bottles”