For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

Group Calls for Action Against Single-Use Plastics

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

The Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) joined other members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) to the Delta State Ministry of Environment in Asaba, Delta State on its campaign against Plastic Pollution, Open Waste Dumping and the promotion of Zero Waste.

The advocacy group at a meeting held on Thursday, July 13, 2023, was also facilitated by Community Development Advocacy Foundation (CODAF) in partnership with Green Knowledge Foundation (GKF), featuring strategic discussion sessions on the global plastic treaty and the efforts of the Delta State Government in achieving a plastic-free environment in the state.

Speaking at the meeting, the Executive Director of CODAF, Benin Richard stated that with the current situation of the country and the state, the total ban of plastic may be an unachievable fit. He however pointed out that the Delta State government can employ strategic efforts to reduce the use of plastic by monitoring the number of plastics that leak into the state.

Mr. Benin suggested that the ministry can start by banning the use of Single-Use Plastics within their office surrounding and gradually extend it to other ministries and the entire secretariat complex.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Executive Director GKF, Bawo Akpo stated that the issue of plastic banning or reduction is a commitment that should be prioritized by the government, with the aim of achieving a common goal of Zero plastic.

He suggested that the government can develop mechanisms that will involve the collection of plastics from the people in exchange for health care services in government-owned hospitals and payment of school fees.

Representing ERA/FoEN at the meeting, the Project Officer, Waste Management- Melody Enyinnaya stated that Extended Producer Responsibility negotiation may not be complete if it doesn’t produce an accountability system.

She added that the government should make policies that hold manufacturers responsible for their product waste such as withdrawal policy, adding that segregation of waste from source should become a practice.

According to her, in order to get it right with the monitoring and reduction of plastic waste in Delta State, there is an urgent need to revisit the Delta State Waste Management Laws for gaps that can hinder the achievement of effective waste management systems in the state.

The Director of Climate Change, Delta State Ministry of Environment, Mrs. V.D Briggs commended the organizations for their visit and applauded the solutions presented by the team.

She noted that the team will be invited on another scheduled date for further discussions on the management of plastic waste in Delta State and how to achieve results.

The highlight of the event includes a sensitization road show/campaign around Asaba metropolis against Open Waste dumping, to commemorate National Environmental Sanitation Day. The team also made a presentation of GAIA Nigeria Zero Waste Guidelines Booklet to the Director of Climate Change and also to the Permanent Sectary of the Delta State Ministry of Environment, a statement to EarthNews Nigeria revealed.

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