Thursday, January 16, 2020 2:15 pm
An environmentalist, Mr Emmanuel Emechete, has called for the adoption of Ecobricks to address the issue of plastic pollution in the country.
Emechete, a recycler and climate change expert, made this call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, says: “An Ecobrick is a plastic bottle packed with used plastic to set density to create a reusable building block.
“Ecobricks can be used to produce modular items, including furniture, garden walls and other structures.
“Ecobricks are produced primarily as a means of managing plastic waste by sequestering it and containing it safely, by terminally reducing the net surface area of the packed plastic to effectively secure the plastic from degrading into toxins and microplastics.’’
Emechete said that owing to a large amount of plastic generated in the country, the adoption of Ecobricks was one way to tackle plastic pollution.
“According to a publication by Voice of America in September 2019, Nigeria generates an estimated 32 million tons of solid waste per year, one of the highest in Africa.
“Of that figure, plastic constitutes 2.5 million tons.
“These figures show there is a high supply of plastic material for use.
“If we adopt the production of Ecobricks it would be one of the methods to reduce the waste from pet/plastic bottle, though, it is not a perfect solution,’’ Emechete told NAN.
According to him, when Ecobricks is adopted to build a house, it helps to reduce the number of pet bottles and under plastic waste on the streets in urban areas.
Emechete called for concerted efforts to address plastic pollution, saying: “there is no single approach to solving plastic pollution issues’’.
He said that some of the people producing pet bottles or plastic indiscriminately, were not concerned about the state of the environment, but only do it for business sake.
“They are in it for profit; so in the long run, they do not want the use of pet bottles to stop.
“I have been in the recycling work for more than two years now, both as an advocate, activist and a volunteer.
“Many recyclers see the business angle of recycling, but may not be willing to embrace research or policies to stop the use of pet bottles and nylon bags,’’ Emechete said.
According to him, many entrepreneurs and technopreneurs have taken advantage of this and started up business ideas and provide solutions to tackle plastic waste.
“But the question to be asked is: `is it to reduce the use of plastic or to make money from the problem at hand’?
“If their aim is to reduce plastic, then, what happens when the rate of plastic wastes reduce drastically? Do they close shop?
“If it is later, then, I can say that these people would not want the reduction of supply of plastic waste,’’ Emechete said.