By Hamza Ibrahim Chinade.
The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has held a one day symposium on mitigating or eradicating the effects of plastic waste (#TrackingPlastics) in the environment. The forum tagged “Cities Without Plastics” and “How Might We Get Products to People Without Creating Plastic Waste” had in attendance erudite academics who presented papers on the theme of the symposium. Giving opening remarks on behalf of the Executive Director of CITAD, Malam Isah Garba noted that the forum aims to awaken everyone to their responsibility in safeguarding the environment by ridding it of plastic waste which has several effects that affects living, non living things and the planet.
Also in his remarks, chairman of the occasion who is also the Dean, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Bayero University Kano, Prof. Ibrahim Baba Yakubu began by commending CITAD for holding the forum that he described as timely considering that it is holding less than two weeks to celebrate World Environment Day, he pointed that out of the nine planets in the solar system, only earth possess the necessary conditions that make life possible for human beings and other living things as such he cautioned “we must have to handle the planet earth much sustainably, if we squander her we have no alternative place to go to”. Prof. Ibrahim added that the use of synthetic raw materials leave the environment in bad state and majority of utensils used by households now are plastic materials that are not properly disposed which take more than fifty years to decompose and the possible effect that has on the environment is raising the temperature of the soil, release some of the materials it was made from and the materials get into the food chain eventually.
Presenting on “How Might We Get Products to People Without Creating Plastic Waste”, Dr. Adnan Abdulhamid of Geography Department, BUK, highlights that economic growth brings along waste production, and care has to be taken on the kind of waste produced, he advocated that people need to say “not in my backyard” and generally “not in everybody’s backyard”, the two statements according to him are implying plastic waste should be dumped in the environment as well as seas and oceans, that he emphasized will salvage the environment.
The second session was facilitated by Dr. Murtala Muhammad Badamasi of the Department of Environmental Management and he presented on “Plastics in the context of Environmental Conflict and Sustainability: The Other side of the Coin”, he emphasized on the concept of environmental sustainability endorsing EPA’s definition as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Giving reasons why manufacturers prefer plastic packaging than glass for their products, Dr. Murtala said, you can ship the same amount of peanut butter in 2 tractor trailers that you would need to ship in 3 tractor trailers if you use plastic packaging instead of glass. He emphasized the importance of recycling giving two types of recycling as “post-consumer which is more difficult to deal with. It needs to be sorted, washed, ground, and sometimes re-extruded into pellets. It can contain materials like metal, labels, and biological material and “post-industrial which usually regrind or contaminate material which is no longer useable by the original purchaser.
In his remarks, the Honourable Commissioner of Environment, Kano state represented by Engr. Mustapha Muhammed challenged the participants as to why there is environmental problem, he said people consciously or unconsciously supply plastic waste to the environment through their attitude of improper disposal of used packs and collectively through behavior change people can safeguard the environment. He advised people to start disposing their plastic waste in a good manner. The forum ended with a vote of thanks by Training Coordinator of the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD and was attended by academics, administrators, students, members of civil society organizations, women groups, media as well as youths groups.