The Lagos State Government has again solicited the support of residents in mitigating the challenge of plastic waste.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the call on Monday in a message to an event in Alausa Ikeja to mark this year’s World Environment Day and the grand finale of a competition among Secondary School Students in Education District one and Six.
Lagosians reportedly generate about 870,000 tonnes of plastic wastes annually which constitute about 15 percent of the total waste generated in the State.
Outlining the efforts of government’s agencies, including the State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA and Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, in curbing the menace of plastic waste and ensuring sustainable alternatives, Governor Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Mr Nurudeen Shodeinde, wants Lagosians to embrace the reuse, reduce and recycle system.
He said “The State government through the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and relevant Agencies such as Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has continued to demonstrate unwavering commitment towards mitigating the challenge of plastic waste management in the State. We have launched several initiatives ranging from Policy initiation, Environmental Education &Advocacy, Buy-back programme, replication of the Recycling Banks in the Government Residential Estates, Schools, Communities and Markets after a successful implementation of a pilot project within the catchment areas of the State Secretariat Complex here in Alausa. Also, as part of the efforts to make the State cleaner particularly by ensuring reduction of plastic waste, we commenced the Community recyclable management programme with the launching of the first one in Ifako-Ijaye local government area in March 2023”
“I call on all Lagosians, stakeholders and partners in environmental sustainability to join hands with us in the ongoing efforts to find sustainable solution to the menace of plastics in Lagos State. Though the task ahead in mitigating the generation of plastic wastes in the State may seem herculean, it is achievable only by our collective efforts and consistent application of global best practice in waste management”
In an address of welcome, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr Omobolaji Gaji, who was represented by the Director of Environmental Education, Mrs. Monsurat Banire noted that this year’s theme, “Solutions to Plastic Pollution” is a reminder that people’s actions on plastic pollution matters and that the various initiatives of the State Government would not be successful if residents are not ready to embrace change, adopt the slogan #BeatPlasticPollution and transition to a circular economy.
The Permanent Secretary appealed to Lagos residents to pay serious attention to the dangers of plastic pollution and adopt proactive measures by forming new habits including Saying No to use of too many plastic bags, encourage reusable plastics or biodegradable materials which are cost effective, eco-friendly and devoid of environmental nuisance.
In a lecture, Dr Essien Nsuabia, the Assistant General Manager Waste Management Delopment at the Lagos State waste Management Agency, LAWMA, advocated the use of stainless steel, ceramics and natural rubbers in place of plastics.
Various household items made from recycled materials by Secondary School students in the State were showcased during the event, while different categories of awards were presented to students who came tops in the competition as well as to some corporate organisations and individuals, including the immediate Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Belinda Odeneye.