The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has called for an end to environmental plastic pollution.
The information is in a statement issued on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Abuja by Hajiya Kori Habib, the Media Associate of UNFPA in Nigeria.
Habib stated that the call was made by Mr Ib Petersen, the Deputy Executive Director of the Fund, in commemoration of the 2023 World Environment Day (WED), annually marked on June 5 and has “Beat Plastic Pollution” as 2023 theme.
The celebration of the day is a reminder that people’s actions on plastic pollution matters.
The UNFPA media associate quoted Petersen as saying: “Plastic wastes are gradually taking over the global environment, making it a threat to existence, with its attendant pollution.”
He, therefore, advocated for cut in plastic waste or recycling of wastes to save the environment.
He added that “based on the preliminary results of the GHG Inventory 2022, only 13 per cent of UNFPA offices reported recycling plastic.
“Unfortunately, some of our locations do not have the local infrastructure to allow recycling- or even safe waste disposal.
“This is why it is important to cut plastic waste from the source.”
The deputy executive director also said that every year, over 400 million tonnes of plastic is being produced, with only
a small fraction recycled, adding that “as a result, plastic waste accumulates in landfills, oceans and waterways.”
He, however, expressed the determination of UNFPA to reduce the environmental impact of its humanitarian supply chain to reduce plastic waste.
He said a recent study estimated that UNFPA’s humanitarian supply chain produces an annual waste of 86,650 tonnes of plastic packaging, which are most likely not properly disposed, but could be avoided.
The deputy executive director reiterated the importance of reducing plastic pollution to achieve coordination, cooperation and capacity building.
By Ikenna Osuoha