By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
A scientist and Director African Climate Reporters Mr. Nurudden Bello has called on the general public to halt culture of dumping trash and plastic waste into the Ocean and River, in order to save the Marine species from harmful chemicals and substances.
He also pointed out that Plastic pollution is a threat food safety and quality, human health, coastal tourism, and contributes to climate change.
“Millions of aquatic mammals faces extinctions across the globe due to human irrational activities of dumping all sort of trash and garbage into the river and oceans capable of killing many marine animals”, saying “millions are dying silently”.
Nurudeen also noted that in a research conducted by scientists across the world, over 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year for use in a wide variety of applications.
He added that by 2050, Nigeria will have more plastics in the oceans than fish if care is not taking due to increase plastic and garbage pollution from communities that flows down to the Ocean and River.
“Plastics in the ocean kill or harm more than 300,000 marine animals every year, hence the need to raise more awareness on ways to recycle plastic bags and other garbage from entering the Ocean “
“At least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year, and plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.
“plastic waste that finds its way into the ocean will remain there for hundreds of years because plastic does not rot.
“Plastic and waste pollution threatens ocean health, the health of marine species, food safety and quality, human health, coastal tourism, and contributes to climate change”, he said.
According to him “Oceans are choking on plastic junks millions of tonnes of water bottles, soda bottles, drinking straws and single use plastic bags. Worse still, what we see floating on the surface accounts for only 5% of all the plastic litter that has been dumped into the sea.
“To save all the endangered aquatic species against extinct, there is need to engage environment journalists, scientists, religion leaders, community heads top celebrities, government at all level to join the campaigns “
However, the scientist said,Some creatures get entangled in the plastic debris, while others like seabirds, turtles, fish, oysters and mussels ingest the plastics, which end up clogging their digestive systems and causing death. “Fish and birds mistake smaller plastic particles for food and feed on them in enormous quantities.
The scientists pointed that volunteers and climatologists from Africa climate reporters annually train over 50 journalists from different media organizations on climate journalism and environmental reportage.
“Africa has not been spared the plastic menace. Even though most of the plastic trash in Africa comes from outside the continent, African cities and coastal towns are grappling with their own mountains of garbage, mostly plastic that ends up in the ocean”, he added..
While stressing that there is the need to support more recycling companies across the planet toward saving the aquatic animals against plastic pollution in the ocean and River, stakeholders on environment protection and other concerns citizens need to raise more awareness to the general public on harmful effects of dumping all sort of trash and garbage into the river
Monthly environmental sanitation by the general public can also help reduce the amount of plastics waste from communities to River
“The main sources of plastic debris found in the ocean are land-based, coming from urban and storm water runoff, sewer overflows, littering, inadequate waste disposal and management, industrial activities, tyre abrasion, construction and illegal dumping. Ocean-based plastic pollution originates primarily from the fishing industry, nautical activities and aquaculture.
“Scarcity of environmental and science reporters in most media houses across the world is also another contributing factors”, and therefore called on both private and public media houses to train journalists on climate journalism and science reportage
He added that, “There is an urgent need to explore new and existing legally binding agreements to address marine plastic pollution.