Prof. Adekunle Amoo, President, Science Association of Nigeria (SAN), has advised the Federal Government to enact stringent waste control laws with effective implementation in the country.
He said such steps would help to address the challenge of indiscriminate disposal of waste and its attendant effects on the environment.
The don urged the Government to revisit the move to ban the use plastic bags, because of the threat they pose to the environment.
It will be recalled that the Eighth House of Representatives, on May 21, passed a bill banning the use and sale of plastic bags in the country.
Labelled as the ‘Plastic Bag Prohibition Bill’, the lawmakers had said that the bill would address the issues of waste management and environmental pollution in Nigeria, among others.
According to the legislation, anyone that fails to provide customers with paper bags in place of plastic ones risks three years in jail or a fine of N500,000 – or both at the worst case scenario.
The bill, however, needed to be worked on by a conference committee of the house and the Senate before being sent to the president for assent to become law.
reports that no fewer than 15 African countries have either banned plastic bags completely or charge a tax on them.
`I am calling on government to revisit the move to ban petroleum-based plastics which include polythene bags, plastic bottles because they are not-biodegradable and therefore causing problem to our environment.
“The leaching of harmful chemicals into our foods, water etc most especially when the food and water are hot makes them unhealthy and dangerous,” Amoo said.
He suggested that alternative technology could be adopted instead of polythene bag.
He said the country could adopt and intensify the technology of producing plant-based biodegradable polythene bags which could be recycled and reused.
The don also advised on ways of generating waste into wealth in the country stressing that waste should be recycled to produce another product that could be re-used.
“Biodegradable wastes can be decomposed using bacteria to produce biogas that can be used at home for cooking.
“The biogas produced can be converted to light energy that can be used at private and public places.
“Some wastes that are not biodegradable can be pyrolysed to produce energy while some of the biodegradable wastes can be converted to fertilisers for our farmers.
“Plant wastes can be used raw or modified for adsorptions of heavy metals or toxic dyes from industrial effluents,’’ he said.
Amoo also called on the government at all level to find a way of developing local skilled Artisans in the area of science and technology.
He said such policy would address the dearth of community-based innovation in the country.
The don also urged the federal government to enforce environmental audit for industries and factories.
Edited by Rotimi Ijikanmi