To commemorate the world Environment Day, Ecocykle Limited carried out community sensitization on effective waste management practices at Ado market karu-Nasarawa state.
The objective of this activity was to enlighten traders on the negative effects of plastic pollution. During the cause of our interaction, We discovered that many people lack adequate knowledge and understanding of how plastic bags can aggravate plastic pollution and contribute towards destroying the ecosystem.
It was also revealing to know that traders spend a lot of money buying plastic bags daily. They expressed that their reason for that was because customers always request for a new plastic bag for every purchase they make as such they are left with no option. Even though few of them who understood the impacts of plastic bags stated that they often encourage their customers to reuse plastic bags given to them but have experienced a strong resistance from customers end.
As a result of increased production and use of plastic bags, plastic pollution has become a worrisome situation that is threatening public health, biodiversity and ecosystems. When plastic gets disposed of after use they end up in landfills and water bodies. Plastics attach themselves to aquatic species through entanglement and this threatens their survival in their natural ecosystem. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Plastics also have consequential effects on human health. When aquatic species ingest microplastics they transfer into human bodies through the food chain hence resulting to cancer in the human body.
It is not far-fetched that plastic pollution also poses significant effects on the environment. Improper disposal of plastics after use accumulates in drainages and block drainage channels. This affects the flow of running water and can result to flooding. With the increasing population and ever-growing demand for plastics, it has increased the production rate of plastics globally. Consequently this is contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases and exacerbating climate change.
Over 100 traders were sensitized on the negative impacts of plastics. We also raised awareness and encouraged adoption of the three most cost effective strategies for combating plastic pollution; “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”.
Through the approach of reducing, reusing and recycling of plastics, it will contribute towards ameliorating challenges of plastic pollution. This can be achieved by discouraging the use of single-use plastics and replacing it with alternative shopping bags. A change in mindset that encourages people to reuse plastic bags more than once rather than disposing them after use can also reduce the amount of plastic waste found on the streets.
The provision of local recycling stations that enables people to properly dispose of plastics rather than the usual indiscriminate dumping will help to boost recycling activities and set the path for a more sustainable environment.
Collectively or individually, we have a duty to contribute our quota in beating plastic pollution and restoring ecosystems.
By Aliyu Sadiq