The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, has advocated for proper plastic waste disposal in order to reduce all forms of pollution in the state.
It is also aimed at encouraging the waste to wealth initiatives to rescue the environment from negative impacts of climate change.
Residents were rewarded with cash in exchange for recycliable waste/single use plastics in a campaign tagged “Trash For Cash.”
The agency in collaboration with the Cleaning Practitioners Association of Nigeria, CPAN, held a sensitization walk to mark the year 2021 World Environment Day, WED, with the theme: “Ecosystem Restoration” and jointly called for collective action against indiscriminate disposal of plastics and all other recycliable wastes in the drainages, oceans and other water channels so as to prevent drinking polluted water and eating poisoned sea foods.
Dr. Fasawe emphasized on the need to educate people on the consequences of indiscrimate disposal of plastics, its effects on the environment, benefits of recycling and clean environmental practices to good quality of life.
Enjoining the residents to ensure the state is rid of plastic pollution by applying self-regulation and self-enforcement as government cannot be everywhere to monitor and supervise our activities. “The Waste to wealth is a sustainable international initiative, recognised worldwide with the objective of generating less waste, encouraging re-usable materials as well as promoting recycling and conversion of waste to new products which translates into income generation and job opportunities for our people.
According to the LASEPA boss the exercise was to create public awareness on the need to rescue the environment from unfriendly activities and the need for all to be conscious of actions that affect the existence of life on health.
She stated further that the objective is to advocate for sustainable solutions to all forms of environmental degradations and reduce the negative effect of climate change on the environment.
“These plastics are treasure raw materials, manufacturers are eagerly searching for, to recycle into new useful products in exchange for cash rewards.
Ironically, somebody’s waste is another person’s useful material. Our cash for trash initiative was to discourage disposal of plastics in the drains, water channels and not end up as foods and water we drink respectively.
She mentioned that her agency would measure the impact of the exercise through, clear drains, absence of wash off plastics and free flow of drainage after rains in other to appraise the exercises.
Saying further, “To garner support for our campaign, we made our offer attractive and paid higher than market values to promote plastic recovery and attitudinal change towards against non reusable products.”.
The LASEPA boss further reiterated the commitment of her Agency to protect the land, air and water in the state and insist that all industries treat their trade effluent before discharging to the environment to avoid further pollution.
She also enjoined the people to cooperate with the Government and take responsibility by ensuring plastic wastes are sorted and dropped into the bins that would be strategically placed by the Agency, where recyclers could pick them to avoid polluting the environment and the ocean bodies in the state.
Dr. Tunde Ayeye, the National President of the CPAN in his remark commended the Agency on its unrelented effort to keep the environment safe and healthy for all, which is one of the ways to restore the ecosystem. “Nature has given us the environment and therefore our responsibilities is to take care of it against natural disasters as we have no other comfort zone. The United Nation’s Organisation, UNO, has declared the decade of action for ecosystem restoration and therefore the need crusade to enlighten our people of the need to protect the earth and work towards tackling of global environmental challenges.”he noted.
Ayeye noted the importance of clean and hygienic environment as key factors in the fight against the COVID-19 and therefore must be upheld even after the pandemic.
He further reiterated the commitment of his association’s support in the fight against the menace of plastic pollution and urged the people to take responsibility for the care and protection of the environment.
The peak of the day was the presentation of 13 full bags of plastic by 67 years old Ife Johnson, who has been a picker for 25 years and use the proceed of the trade to support her family.
According to her, plastic recovery is lucrative and commended the laudable move of the agency, as it would encourage her to do more and indirectly keep the environment clean. The grandmother also advised other people to join the global business trend, instead of begging or engaging in questionable trades that put them in troubles.