An environmentalist, Ms Gloria Bulus, has criticized government for its inability to follow up on the enforcement of environmental policies after formulating the policies.
Bulus, who spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos on the menace of plastic pollution, said that government had been formulating policies without enforcing the policies to sustain the environment.
“Nigeria as a country is yet to either take a decision on plastic solutions or tackling its pollution. Our government gives little attention to environmental issues. Therefore, plastic pollution remains high within our shores.
“The blame on plastic pollution is, however, on everyone. Government is responsible for formulating policies and laws that will address plastic pollution but it has not been able to ensure enforcement or compliance.
“If we all fail in our responsibilities then we are all to blame. It is not a one-sided responsibility. It involves everyone.
“The masses have a role to play in curbing plastic pollution by re-using and recycling plastic products.
According to Bulus, plastic producers get the blame most times because they are often not compliant with government’s laws and policies on plastic use.
“The companies also fail in the Extended Producer Responsibility policy and the production of eco-friendly products.”
She advocates increased sensitisation of Nigerians on the dangers of plastic pollution and strengthening of the country’s environmental laws and policies.
“Most Nigerians are not well informed on the dangers of plastic pollution. There is a lot that needs to be done on sensitisation and awareness.
“Alternatives should be put in place so that people can have a replacement to plastic products.
“To fight plastic pollution our laws and policies need to be strengthened. Massive sensitisation and awareness need to be carried out continuously with support from government, media and civil society organisations.
Bulus, founder of a group known as Bridge-that- Gap Initiative, said that the R3 initiative — Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, needs to be adopted from the grassroots to multinational companies to tackle plastic pollution.
“Alternatives should also be produced to replace plastics, especially single-use plastics.
“Multinational companies should urgently embrace a transition to eco-friendly products and packaging,” Bulus recommended.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Silas Nwoha (NAN)
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