Consumer Protection Advocacy in Ogun State made case for Compulsory Legislation on controlling Plastic Pollution - THE BUSINESS PACKAGE


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Consumer Protection Advocacy in Ogun State made case for Compulsory Legislation on controlling Plastic Pollution

The Consumer Protection Advocacy Initiative in Ogun State has made a strong case for government actions in coming up with a strong policy against pollution of the environment by plastics and nylon products.

The initiative  during a press conference as part of the  sensitisation programe put together in Abeokuta on Monday, 15th March, 2021 held at the Chambers Hall of the Abeokuta chambers of Commerce , Industry , Mines and Agriculture with the theme " Tackling Plastic Pollution" informed that government should put policies in place on  the issue of plastic pollution in order to guide the usage of plastic with a view to safeguarding the environment..

The programme was organised to commemorate this year's  Consumer Protection Day, 2021. The wold Consumer Rights Day is an annual ocassion  dedication to highlight the power of consumers and their rights for a fair ,safe and sustainable marketplace foreveryone.

In a position paper by Mr. Ola Animasaun, Director of Advocacy of the initiative ,he  observed that absence of government policy in the direction of regulating the production and use of plastic and nylon made the products and the manufacturers have a field  day.

" With move advocacy, we shall get to that destination, it is a gradual development , he expressed optimism..

According to the Director General , Consumer International, Helen Leurent , the world is  currently facing a global plastic Pollution crisis .

She said " plastic pollution is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet  adding that Consumer awareness of the plastic crisis is growing around the world.

According to Mr. Animasaun, " Although plastic can be a highly useful material in our everyday lives, our consumption and production of it has become unsustainable , hence, this year's theme " Tackling Plastic Pollution " is a follow up to the focus for last year which was based on " Sustainable Consumption ".

Accordingly, the initiative quoted the Pew Charitable Trust and systemic report in August ,2020 as saying that " the flow of plastic materials into the ocean will triple by 2040 if major innovations and changes in policy and behavour do not occur ".

Reeling out the fact on plastic, the Consumer Protection Advocacy Initiative in Ogun State stated that by 2050 , it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish , this is even as an estimated 8 million tones of plastic enters the ocean annually.

The initiative also observed that single-use plastics account for about 50 per cent of the plastic produced annually , while it stated that 40 per cent of the plastics produced are for packaging and discarded after use.

In terms of actions already taken in some parts of the world against plastic pollution, the press conference informed that Canada for instance in the year 2019 announced that in addition to banning single - use plastics, the government also takes other unspecified steps to reduce plastic Pollution . Canada is among sixty other countries that have taken steps to reduce single -use plastics by imposing bans  or taxes.

Also, the European Union Parliament has voted to ban top ten single -use plastic items found on European beaches by 2021.

The EU also calls on member states to work out details of bans before 2021 deadline while it  wants 90% of the plastic bottles to be recycled by 2025.

In the same vein, India is also said to have declared in 2018 that it would eliminate single-use plastics by 2022 , an ambitious plan for the World second most populous country, while Chile also banned retail plastic bags and gave companies six months to phase out single -use plastic bags ,while small businesses were given two years to do so.

Going forward,  in the United States, there was a resolution to use less plastics and there was no optional for restaurants and other services businesses in Washington DC as of January ,1 2019 and by July , businesses would begin to receive fines if they continue to offer Plastic straws 

Animashaun further stated that " To keep plastic pollution from entering waterways , manufacturers either have to stop making plastic or it is collected at the end of its life. However, he lamented that in most developing nations , Nigeria inclusive waste collection infrastructure are  insufficient or non- existent , thereby calling on countries to improve on plastic waste collection on the ground and create market for the collected materials.

In conclusion ,the Consumer Protection Advocacy Initiative in Ogun State called on Community , Associations  Civil Society organisations , governments', producers , manufacturers and researchers to rise to the challenges and save the country from plastic pollution which is becoming one of the greatest Environmental issues today . It also reached out to researchers to come up with alternatives that are environmental - friendly to outrightly phase out the single -use plastics from the country .

Earlier , the Board of Trustee ,Chairman, Consumer Protection Advocacy Initiative in Ogun State, Mr. David Ajayi had said tackling plastic pollution a is a world wide problem that needs urgent attention , saying Nigeria should not be left out but should be more concern about our environment because it is the backbone of our existence .

A number of Public Affairs analysts and Journalist invited to the event including Mr. Biodun Bello, veteran Broadcaster and Mr. Bamidele Ayodo and Mr. Waheed Ogunjobi also made far - reaching suggestions that will ensure a plastic pollution free nation , while commending the initiative  for  being apparently the only one paying attention to such critical issues at this crucial time..

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