… Gives Residents Cash Rewards for Plastic Trash
The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has advocated for proper disposal of plastic waste to reduce all forms of pollution in the State, just as it rewarded residents with cash in exchange for collected recyclable waste and single-use plastics as part of efforts to encourage the ‘waste to wealth’ initiative and protect the environment from the negative impact of climate change.
Speaking during the sensitisation walk, organised by LASEPA in collaboration with the Cleaning Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CPAN), held to mark the year 2021 World Environment Day (WED) themed “Ecosystem Restoration”, the General Manager of the Agency, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, called for collective action against indiscriminate disposal of plastics and all other recyclable waste to prevent consumption of polluted water and poisoned seafoods.
She emphasised the need to educate citizens on the consequences of indiscriminate disposal of plastics, its effects on the environment, benefits of recycling and clean environmental practices to good quality of life, and enjoined residents to apply self-regulation and enforcement to stem plastic pollution as the government cannot be everywhere to monitor and supervise all activities.
Fasawe submitted that ‘Waste to Wealth’ is a sustainable international initiative recognised worldwide with the objective of generating less waste, encouraging reusable materials as well as promoting recycling and conversion of waste to new products, which translates into income generation and job opportunities for our people.
Her words: “Today’s exercise was to create public awareness on the need to rescue the environment from unfriendly activities and the need for all to be conscious of actions that affect the existence of life on earth. Our objective is to advocate for sustainable solutions to all forms of environmental degradation and reduce the negative effect of climate change on the environment”.
“These plastics are treasure raw materials, manufacturers are eagerly searching to recycle them into new useful products in exchange for cash rewards. Ironically, somebody’s waste is another person’s useful material. Our cash for trash initiative was to discourage disposal of plastics in the drains, water channels and not end up as foods and water we drink”, the General Manager added.
She averred that the Agency intends to measure the impact of the exercise through clear drains, absence of wash-off plastics and free flow of floodwater after rains, stressing that to garner more support for the campaign, the offer was made attractive by offering higher than market values to promote plastic recovery and attitudinal change towards reusable products.
While reiterating the commitment of her Agency to protecting the Land, Air, Water as well as encouraging all industries to treat their effluent before discharging them to the environment, the LASEPA boss enjoined the people to cooperate with the government and take responsibility by ensuring plastic wastes are sorted and dropped into the bins that would be strategically placed for recyclers to pick them up.
Dr. Tunde Ayeye, the National President of the Cleaning Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CPAN), commended LASEPA on its efforts to keep the environment safe and healthy for all as part of efforts to restore the ecosystem.
He said, “Nature has given us the environment and, therefore, our responsibilities are to take care of it against natural disasters as we have no other comfort zone. The United Nations Organisation (UNO) has declared the decade of action for ecosystem restoration and it was necessary to enlighten the people on the need to protect the earth and work towards tackling global environmental challenges”.
Ayeye noted the importance of a clean and hygienic environment as key factors in the fight against the COVID-19 and reiterated the commitment of the Association in the fight against the menace of plastic pollution, urging the people to take responsibility for the care and protection of the environment that nature has bequeathed on us.