Alex Akhigbe, Chief Environmental Officer, African Clean-Up Initiative (ACI), on Wednesday urged Federal and State Governments to enforce Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) programme to control environmental hazards and flooding.
Akhigbe gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
NAN reports that the EPR programme was a framework of action for a collaborative and partnership approach between governments, business and the larger society toward achieving a zero waste society.
According to him, the overall objective of EPR programme is to ensure a decrease in the total environmental impact of a product, including its packaging.
He said this would be achieved by making the manufacturers of the products responsible for the entire lifecycle of their products, particularly, the take-back, recycle and final disposal of the product and its packaging.
Akhigbe said that everywhere the primary responsibility of EPR resided with the producers who made designs and marketing decisions.
‘`Those into the production of this Styrofoam food packs should be made to have a plan on how they intend to recover them from the environment after usuage.
“Currently, it is hard to see a recycling firm in Nigeria, collecting this particular kind of recyclables, which has contributed negatively to our environment,’’ he said.
The environmentalist, however, said because the products were affordable, their damages to the environment were on the high side with their presence in the drainage systems in high volume, especially during heavy rainfall.
“Recently, our drainage systems were all filled up at all locations and canals with different colours of Styrofoam and PET bottles, which contributed to most flooding in some parts of the state like Akobi Crescent and Akerele Street in Surulere and other major canals in the state.
“This is gradually becoming a nuisance in the environment and it requires urgent attention by all levels of governments, as our environment is gradually losing its aesthetic value and much more, the impact on our health as it is said to be carcinogenic in nature,’’ he said.
Akhigbe said that ACI, with the vision and mission of ensuring environmental sustainability, had shown its concern and willingness to partner with any recycling firm.
He said the initiative was ready to start recycling such plastic materials as its own quota to ensuring environmental cleanliness.
Akhigbe added that it would also encourage individuals to partake in safeguarding the environment.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
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