The plastic scourge: What shall we do about it?

Plastics have become a scourge of unimaginable proportion. We often throw them away carelessly and think they are gone but they stick around for a thousand years to jeer at our great, great ……… grand children and remind them of our recklessness of dumping the equivalent of 850 shipping containers of plastics into the oceans every day without a care during our life time.

Why should we care when some of those in power deny the consequences or choose to be oblivious of our ruinous behaviour even when they stare is in the face as they do now.

The merchandizer at the roadside sells you a few small items you can put in the pocket of your shirt but he persists in giving them to you in a small plastic wrap and you oblige. At the super market, the sales people load your purchases into as many plastic bags as they wish and you oblige them.

May be we think that when we dispose off the plastic bags, the sun will melt away the mess. But that never happens. Those plastic wrappers accumulates in the ocean where they are consumed by marines lives that will in turn end up on our dinner tables. Or they are abandoned all over the place or in dumps, causing environmental eye sore.

Scientists are still trying to figure out the health implications of man consuming plastics. Their finding, when it eventually comes out will not be good news for us.

Some cities and countries have banned the use of plastic bags and products. Others have resorted to using tax as a way to moving people away from the use of these materials.

For now, the Nigerian government does not have a policy on the use of plastic bags as seen in some countries around the world. It behooves on all of us to limit the use of plastic bags by using reusable cloth bags or paper bags.

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