5th of June has been set apart yearly to mark world’s environment day, 2018 advocacy day focuses on “Beat Plastic Pollution”. Earth’s physical environment consists of parts that include purely physical factors as soil, climate, and water supply.

Effects of plastic pollution

As I walk down our streets on different occasions, what I observe littering our cities and water ways most times are waste from plastics and their byproducts. I feel so pained when I observed the amount of deposits of these waste that accumulate inside many open drainages along major roads in our cities, revealing the level at which human beings are causing damages to our physical environment. Environmentalists say all plastics bags below 60 microns are unsuitable. They are carelessly disposed of and end up blocking drainage systems, which in turn can lead to flooding. A lot of communities in our cities suffer severe flooding during rainy seasons, which causes unnecessary damage to properties and in most cases loss of lives and livelihood.

Over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean. Currently, it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world.

Combustion of plastic in open air leads to environmental pollution due to the release of poisonous chemicals. The polluted air when inhaled by humans and animals affect their health and can cause respiratory problems.

When animals in the ocean eat pieces of plastic waste deposited in the water, the toxins are absorbed into their body and passed up the food chain. As plastics break apart in the ocean, they also release potentially toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA), which can then enter the food web.

What can be done?

Each of us has a responsibility to ensure that our plastic wastes are well disposed of, and that we encourage people around us to develop the habit of proper waste disposal. Alternatively, by turning bottles, packaging and other plastic refuse into new goods, recycling helps the environment and creates new economic opportunities. If possible, it is better to adopt the reusable bags.

Also, we can speak to lawmakers and let them come up with laws that can effectively manage plastics.

12 thoughts on “World environment Day!”

  1. First of all, kudos to the international community for this date of celebration.

    The environment I must say has been abused in different forms. Lately the Bill Gate and Melinda Foundation released funds for the reconstruction of gutters in the Kaduna metropolis and till date all that happened was to put the residents in more shambles than they met it.

    The gutters where not constructed, they only came and scattered the one that was there before, causing more harm than good. Malaria had increased because stagnant waters.

    We really have to do something about our system here as this is frustrating.

  2. Wow! Than you for this enlightening piece.

    This was the topic for the day in the last meeting of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Ibadan branch. The escalating number of improperly disposed plastics and their potential effects is terrifying. Plastics are non-biodegradable. It takes hundreds of years before they completely degenerate. In some advanced countries, a ban has been placed on polythene packaging bags, where they have been swapped with paper bags.

    There should be strict policies and laws to discourage the production and improper disposal of plastics.

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