NGO educates community on dangers of single-use plastics, offers alternatives

Anon-governmental organisation, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), has taken to major markets in the Ogba area of Lagos State to create awareness and sensitise marketers on the dangers of using and poorly disposing of styrofoam and single-use plastic.

The foundation also gave reusable bottles and plastic bowls to hundreds of market traders as an alternative to single-use plastics and styrofoam.

The campaign is part of the activities to commemorate the HEDA Resource Centre’s 20th anniversary.

The Executive Secretary of HEDA Resource Centre, Sulaimon Arigbabu, who led the campaign, said all hands must be on deck to fight the menace of styrofoam, single-use plastics, and its negative impact on the environment.

He said, “This community outreach importantly is part of a series of event that we have lined up to celebrate our 20th anniversary, but beyond the celebration community outreach is one of the tools we use at HEDA to promote behavioral change, to create awareness about issues of public importance.”
“This one is very much important because we have chosen to campaign the use of single-use plastic, yesterday (Thursday) we were at the Ipodo market in Ikeja, where we spoke to hundreds of marketers and we sensitised them on the need to say No to single-use plas“As part of our anniversary, and as part of our realisation that people in the country are hungry, and any succor you can bring to people is important, we are doing outreach to feed a multitude of people.

“And we are not just feeding people, we are passing a message, the food we have prepared are brought in reusable packs, the normal bowls we use in our homes, things we will not just use and dispose.

“Yesterday (Thursday) in Ikeja where we are, there was flooding and the rain has not yet come. This one is us testing the mic.

“The real rain has not come and Ikeja is flooded, Surulere flooded. And then we went round after the flood subsided and we saw the reason for the flooding. It’s not because the earth can no longer take the rain, it is because of plastic, styrofoam, and different kinds of plastic destroying our environment, blocking our drainages, and making our lives difficult.”

Reacting, the Chief Imam of the Oluwole Central Mosque, Imam Sa’adullah Bello, commended the HEDA Resource Centre for their efforts in sensitising the community about the harmful effects of using styrofoam and single-use plastics.

He also encouraged the government to make use of religious bodies to inform members of the public on issues, he recommended inter-faith bodies and many others as places to educate the community.

Mr. Taiwo Adewole, an executive member of the Lagos Recycler Association, also spoke about the Waste 2 Wealth program, an initiative of the organisation to encourage people to turn their waste into money.

Adewole said that members of the community can give their plastics and cans in exchange for money and they can reach the nearest LRA member on a mobile app called, PARKAN.

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