Beating plastic waste challenge is a contemporary and global issues and as such stakeholders have called on Ndi Anambra to take a bold step in combating the menace of plastic waste and ensure a clean green and sustainable Anambra.
The stakeholders made the clarion call during ‘The Plastic Waste Sustainability Summit’ organised by the Anambra State Recyclers Association in conjuction with Ministry of Environment, Anambra State held on 16th Sept at Awka, the state capital.
In his opening remark, Minister of State for Environment and Ecology, Dr Izag Salako noted that over 1.5 million tonnes of plastic waste generated annually in Nigeria were posing serious threat to food safety and quality. This he said had prompted the federal government in planning on establishing more recycling hubs to help in converting waste to wealth.
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.
Head of Service, Barrister Theodora Igwegbe, in her key note speech on sustainability of wastes maintained that there is need to embrace reusable and renewable alternatives. She noted that Majority of plastic takes a thousand years to decay and this calls for changes, individual responsibility to make our environment liveable which will enable investors in the recycling business.
Secretary to the State Government, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu said plastic is great menace to our environment. He urged everyone to recycle their used plastic and deal with it in a sustainable manner.
He frowned at the lackadaisical attitude of residents who use plastic waste and polythene the way they like but called for practical level of proper disposal and gathering of plastics as this will be used as solutions not the problems.
Professor Solo Chukwulobelu assured government’s readiness to support efforts geared towards conversion of waste to wealth, waste to biogas, waste to compost manure, waste to energy and waste to other useful product.
Earlier, 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.
He said plastic wastes could be taken to the hubs and exchanged for cash or other valuable items.
Adding, the Convener, and Chairman, Anambra State Recyclers Association, Barrister Philip Obuesi, maintained that it is necessary for all residents keep to the clean, green and sustainable Anambra by changing their attitudes towards the environment. While he called on the state government to ensure that more public private partnerships with investors, refusal disposal containers are sustained.
Delivering a lecture on “overcoming plastic pollution through community empowerment, capacity building and Stakeholders participation: A focus on the communities in Anambra State”, keynote speaker, Dr David Onuoha called for strict measures to control plastic pollution and its growing damage to the environment.
He 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, just as he enumerated reuse, recycle, reduce, remove, replace and management and value chain initiative as some of the sustainability routes.
The sustainability summit featured presentation of awards, prizes to companies and communities that participated in the just concluded “All Community Plastic Challenge.”