Gov Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia says that social orientation and legislation are best measures for checking the proliferation of plastic pollution in Nigeria.
Ikpeazu said this on Tuesday during the commemoration of the 2018 World Environment Day in Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU).
The governor said that such measures could be made effective through concerted efforts from every member of the society.
Ikpeazu said that the usage of plastics could result in serious health consequences because it contained properties that were harmful to human health and the environment.
“The only way forward is massive enlightenment on the need for a total refusal of the plastic option; let us legislate against it and its use for packaging or storage.
“Reuse and recycling of plastics really do not have the capacity to remove the pollutants from the system; they can only reduce the volume being introduced.
“There are more sustainable and environmentally friendly options for packaging, storage and transportation of various materials in our system,” he said.
The governor urged every member of the society to jointly begin to think about the way forward out of plastic pollution by acting in consonance with the relevant agencies to create a better society.
Earlier, Prof Francis Otunta, the Vice-chancellor of MOUAU, said that Nigeria had become over-reliant on the use of plastics for packaging.
Otunta said that the 2018 World Environment Day celebration had presented the nation with another opportunity to increase its efforts towards checking plastic pollution.
Also speaking, Prof Emmanuel Nzegbulam, the Dean of College of Natural Resources and Environmental Management of the university said that the dangers of continued use of plastics ought not to be over-looked.
Nzegbulam emphasised the need for every Nigerian to make meaningful contributions towards reducing plastic pollution in the nation.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 2018 World Environmental Day celebration with the theme `Beat Plastic Pollution’ featured lectures drama presentation and tree planting.