Plastic pollution

The menace of plastic pollution: Causes, effects and recommendations

One of the questions I ask myself when I talk about plastic pollution is, can we effectively say No to plastic?

Today, we talk about plastic pollution, its causes, and recommendations for reducing plastic pollution, then I will come back to the question that I posed on top.

Plastic pollution is a menace that our waterways and drainages in Lagos state testify. It is the build-up of plastic bottles, plastic bags, and particles in places they are not supposed to be.

If I took a census on the streets of Lagos, I am sure people will talk about how plastic has been a useful material for them. As much as it is a solution, it is detrimental to health because of its properties.

How does plastic pollution come about?

  • Since plastic is economical, a lot of businesses make use of it to maximize profit.
  • Improper disposal of plastic 
  • Plastics take over 400 years and more to decompose.
  • Overconsumption is another reason we have plastic pollution.

Asides from the heaps of plastic by the wayside, we have several ways that this pollution affects our health and environment.

Impacts of plastic waste

  • One of the effects of plastic pollution is how it pollutes our water bodies.
  • The burning of plastics leads to the release of toxic substances into the environment.
  • It is harmful to animals like fishes that ingest smaller particles of plastics. 
  • Plastics are also harmful to humans because we are prone to eat microplastics in our food (in fishes).
  • When plastics begin to decompose, they release toxic substances into our water, soil, and land thereby polluting them.
  • The birds are also affected by plastic pollution. They indirectly consume plastic particles when they consume fishes that have ingested plastics.

Now that we have discussed the impacts of pollution. Let us get to my favorite part of my articles.

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Recommendations for reducing plastic pollution

  • I cannot overemphasize the importance of education. Teaching people on reducing their reliance on plastics can mitigate plastic pollution.
  • Reuse and recycle is one way to reduce plastic pollution. I believe that some people in Lagos do this already like using plastic bottles to store things instead of throwing them away.
  • Clean-ups are a way to reduce plastics in our water bodies. The beautiful thing is we have quite a number of them in Lagos.
  • When next you are going shopping, have shopping bags handy so you do not have to request plastic bags.
  • The government can also support organizations that make use of sustainable packaging.
  • I believe the Lagos State Government can enforce stricter laws on the use of plastic.

To answer my earlier question, the nature of how we consume water in Lagos does not help us say no to plastic.

Practically everyone I know in Lagos buys water to drink and if we look in our drainages, it is either filled with sachets waste or plastic bottles of water.

I said all that to say that if the government can solve our water problem in Lagos, we might likely have a reduction in plastic production.

Conclusion

We all must take responsibility for our environment, so in every way that you can please do reduce your purchase of plastic in any form.

Until my next post, play your part in being kind to the environment.

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