By Lizzy Chirkpi
OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted a motion seeking to regulate the manufacturer, use and disposal of single use plastic bags and waste recycling in the country.
The House accordingly mandated its committees on Environment and Habitat and Climate Change to interface with the Federal Ministry of Environment to control negative environmental impact and for possible adoption of international best practices.
The House expressed concerns about the public health risks posed by the disposal of plastic bags and when burnt, the release of harmful toxic gases such as methane and carbon dioxide into the air.
The motion was sponsored by Mr. Sergius Ogun (PDP, Edo.)
According to him, the uncontrolled use of plastic materials and arbitrary disposal of waste, particularly shopping bags, present imminent danger to the people and the environment.
He also stated that those non-degratable materials that litter the country stay for decades and eventually become a crucial cause of obstruction of drainage and water channels that have precipitated flooding and thereby endangering the ecosystem and contaminating agricultural soil.
According to him, “an estimate of over 50 billion plastic bags are used annually and they account for a staggering twenty million of municipal solid waste in the country;
“Over time, the plastic bags find their way into the marine environment and are ingested by marine animals, thereby choking them”.
Contributing, Ms. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (PDP, Abia) said the motion has brought to the fore climate change policies that if not acted upon immediately then the country stands at high risk.
“The truth is that our earth, our country is at high risk high risk,” she said.
Mr. Sadiq Ibrahim (APC, Adamawa) who also supported the motion said anything that would cause harm to the environment should be taken seriously.
He further reiterated that the disasters being encountered in different parts of the country are as a result human activities and therefore enjoined his colleagues to take the matter seriously.
The motion was unanimously adopted through a voice and referred to the committees on Environment and Habitat and Climate Change for further legislative action.