By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Federal Government in collaboration with stakeholders has developed a national strategy for the phase-out of non-biodegradable plastic.
It said it will also implement a National Plastic Waste Recycling Programme to establish plastic waste recycling plants across the country.
The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril disclosed this in a press conference over the weekend to mark this year’s World Environment Day.
The Minister who said that the establishment of the plants will be done in partnership with state governments, called on Nigerians to be cautious and use less of plastic containers so as to save the environment from its harmful effects.
Hon. Jibril added that eight of the plants have been completed and handed over to their respective states, emphasising that 18 others were at various stages of completion across states
“Let me use this opportunity to announce that the federal government is presently working on a National Policy on Plastic Waste Management to regulate the use and disposal of plastics in the country.
“In addition, the Federal Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with critical stakeholders, has developed a national strategy for the phase-out of non-biodegradable plastics while at the same time, implementing National Plastic Waste Recycling Programme to establish plastic waste recycling plants across the country in partnership with sate governments.
“At present, a total of eight of such have already been completed and handed over to the states of location while 18 others are at various stages of completion. In addition, The federal government is also collaborating with states to establish plastic waste recycling plants under the Community-based Waste Management Programme of the ministry.
“To this end, two plants have been completed in Ilorin, Kwara State, one in Lokoja, Kogi State while work on another is ongoing in Karu Local Government of Nasarawa State. Other locations include Bola Jari, Gombe State and Leda Jari in Kano State.”
The minister who reemphasised the harmful effects of plastic waste containers and its indiscriminate disposal in the country to the environment, encouraged Nigerians to avoid unhygienic disposal of plastic bags, satchet water nylon and bottles into the streams, canals, rivers or seas.
“You will agree with me that the theme of the 2018 celebration is very apt for us in Nigeria, bearing in mind our peculiar nature on plastic and polythene disposal. These constitute a major environmental concern that we have been grappling with. Even more alarming is that plastic pollution is poisoning our waters and lands, injuring marine lives and land animals as well as affecting the overall health and living condition of our people. The time to act is now to save our environment.
“To this end, I wish to encourage Nigerians to avoid disposing waste plastics bags, pure water nylon and bottles indiscriminately into our habitats, streams, canals, rivers and seas.”