Plastics are one of the primary sources of pollution that plague the entire world. They are a threat to the general health of the people and the ecosystem.
The reason why plastics are so commonly used is also the very reason why they are so troublesome for the environment – they are non-biodegradable and resilient.
A Way of Life
For the people in Nigeria, plastic waste has become an important aspect of their lives. The refuse management that is done by the authorities assigned the task ends when they have collected the waste from the houses and the streets and deposited it at the waste dumps.
From then on, the local people undertake the responsibility of sifting through that waste and scavenging the plastics from these dumps in order to make a living. Almost 50 percent of all the waste collected in Nigeria consists of plastics in its different forms.
Other sites where all the waste is dumped is in the waters. That is where the impact of plastic waste is the most problematic. The water carries the plastic waste along with it and it pollutes the wildlife in the sea and has played a big role in killing off a lot of the wildlife in the oceans. Its resilience makes it impossible for the animals and the plants to be able to deal with them with a lot of them dying due to suffocation from the plastic content in the oceans they get caught up in.
Plastic is Everywhere
No matter where you go in the country of Nigeria, one very common sight throughout the landscape had been the waste plastic that has been dumped carelessly. Even in the very rumbling and bustling city of Kano, there is so much plastic that you see all around in its different forms – be it plastic bags, bottles, shoes, headwear, and even in the hair extensions used by women.
Plastic packaging is used to store our food and other edible items in order to protect them and while they are effective in protecting the food items from harm, once disposed of, the plastics become a part of the problem of environmental pollution.
Accountability and Responsibility
It then falls upon the people themselves to be more responsible with their usage of plastics in daily life. All of the plastic which is currently being used in households should be recycled. The problem of plastic pollution is a serious one and it keeps getting worse. Many people resort to burning plastic waste in order to get rid of it but it is worse for the environment as the fumes released by the burning plastic are poisonous and adversely affect human health.
It falls upon everyone who is making use of plastic to be accountable and take care of the plastic waste. If all of the plastic which has been used is kept into circulation via recycling, there will be no need for the production of more plastic and thus the problem can be slowly weaned down.
Biodegradable material is being produced slowly and it should become more commonplace in the future but that will take its time to happen as they are not as easily and widely produced as the plastic we use every day.