A public affairs expert, Mrs Victoria Uwadoka, on Thursday, March 18, 2021 urged the media to intensify public awareness on circular economy aimed at recycling plastic waste to create more economic benefits and healthier environment.
Uwadoka, also Corporate Affairs Manager, Nestle Nigeria, made the call at the ongoing virtual media training tagged: “Advancing Nutrition, Health and Environmental Awareness Through the Media”.
It was organised by the Nestle Nigeria, in collaboration with the Lagos Business School (LBS), Sustainability Centre.
Uwadoka said plastics were valuable and resourceful products that could be recycled and reused into new materials, rather than being disposed indiscriminately or go into waste to pollute the environment.
According to her, addressing the menace of plastic waste pollution such as plastic bottles, cans and water sachets, has become a huge environmental challenge in Nigeria.
“We are having this problem because, we as people, have always had the use and dispose mentality about plastics.
“People are not aware that plastics are valuable products and that plastic waste pollution affect the quality of air, water and soil, and can also fuel health risks.
“But with the right action, we can turn the tide by adopting what is called the ‘Circular Economy’.
“It is where every manufactured plastics is recycled, treated and reused into used or new materials without being wasted.
“The media have a huge role to play here by creating awareness on circular economy and the importance of governments, private sector and citizen engagement,” she said.
Uwadoka said that intensified media awareness on circular economy could make governments to prioritise and make policies along such direction.
She advocated that, with a public-private partnership, a buy-back hub could be opened for people to bring their plastic wastes and get paid.
“With improve private sector participation, infrastructure such as plastics collection, sorting and recycling centres can be established across the country.
“Such centres will create employment, earning power and a healthier, greener environment free of plastic wastes.
“This can be achieved through aggressive media advocacy and awareness to effect a change in the orientation,” she said.
By Lucy Osuizigbo-Okechukwu