An expert, Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, has warned that Nigerians are ingesting plastics through fish consumption as a result of the amount of plastic waste being dumped into the oceans.
He said this in Abeokuta, Ogun State while delivering his paper titled “Living sustainably in harmony with nature; curbing the menace of climate change, biodiversity loss and public waste,” as part of activities marking the 2022 World Environment Day.
Osibanjo, the Managing Director of Jawura Environmental Services Limited, was represented by Dr. Olumide Onafeso.
He lamented the high disregard for the environment in areas of waste disposal and planting of trees.
He said, “We need to understand clearly that without these trees the biodiversity will become more difficult for mankind to source oxygen and now the amount of oxygen that we have will determine the survival of that growth and expansion we are having.
“What can we do as individuals? That is where the issue of plastic actually comes in. There is so much to discuss on plastic and it looks as if plastic has come to stay but the fact remains that as bad as plastic is, of course we know plastic is not consumable and most of the plastics end up in the ocean.
“About 91 per cent of the plastic that is produced is not recycled. And so it ends up in the ocean because plastics float. So, water will move the plastic into the ocean ultimately. Your plastics do not really stay in the ground, it doesn’t really cause biodegradation inside the ground because it floats and then are washed away into the river and later run into the ocean.
“These plastics are eaten by the fishes in the ocean and by the time the fishes eat the plastic, we, in turn, get to eat the fishes and we are eating plastic. That is the implications for us.”
Osibanjo called for precautionary care for the environment, adding that the money spent on fixing the environment is more than what can be spent to prevent it.
Earlier in his address, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, represented by the Head of Service, Nofiu Aigoro, said the state was in the forefront of protecting the environment.
Aigoro disclosed that the state has spent N2bn on the management of the environment.
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