As the world celebrates the 2023 World Environment Day with the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution”, the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) joins the world in advocating for better management strategy to combat global plastic waste production and its problematic management that has posed environmental issue which is directly proportional to economic development.

The United Nations through its industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) states that Nigeria’s plastic disposal increased to 1.25 million tonnes, a 116.26 % increase from the previous record within a period of 15 years, a rapid increase in the per capita plastic utilization that has grown by five percent annually from 4kg to 6.5kg. It further notes that each citizen utilizes 7.5kg of plastic per year, thus mismanaged plastic and ineffective waste management which is a source of GHG (Greenhouse gas) emission across the region, if properly converted can generate revenue, create jobs and safeguard environmental assets.

It is noteworthy to state that plastic generation has doubled within the period of 2000 to 2019 to reach 460 million tonnes and only 9% of plastic waste is recycled (15% is collected for recycling but 40% of that is disposed of as residue) Another 19% is incinerated, 50% ends up in landfill and 22% evades waste management systems and goes into uncontrolled dumpsites.

CEHRD, therefore, calls for a culture of sustainable plastic waste co-management between government and communities. As one of the major frontline environmental advocates on Plastic management, CEHRD has implemented various projects across the Niger Delta some of which include; The Global Greengrants Fund (GGF) project which led to the development of a framework for community-level sustainable plastic waste management in Bundu community, and the Partnership with Women in Environmental Justice Network (WEJN) to sensitize women on plastic management, Inaugurating new members into environment school clubs and environmental community Clubs across the Niger Delta.

In commemoration of the 2023 World Environment Day, CEHRD makes a clarion call for government at all levels, civil society organizations, and indeed all well-meaning members of the public to be part of the solution and not the problem towards Plastic management in the Niger Delta and therefore recommends the following:

1) Public awareness on Plastic Management.

2) Token system of plastic collection.

3) Avoidance of unnecessary plastic packaging.

4) Use of alternatives to plastic items.

5) End the use of single-use plastics.

6) Improvement and implementation of policies on sustainable plastic waste co-management.

Signed: Cookey A.T.Ph.D

Head, Environment and Conservation Unit

All reactions:1Centre for Environment Human Rights and Development CEHRD

All reactions:1Centre for Environment Human Rights and Development CEHRD

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *