Nina is hungry, exhausted from balance sheets and her nagging boss, drained in her sweat and above all, she is stuck in a terrible traffic. Well, this is a usual thing if you live on the mainland and work on the Island in Lagos, Nigeria.
As she let her mind wander and glanced around in a hysteric manner, she observed a group of tired men hurriedly drinking from sachets bags (locally called pure water), which they landed on the ground after few seconds of quenching their thirst. Then, she gazed through the watercourse (gutter) that separated the road, it was filled with plastics of different shapes, colors, and sizes. She saw bottles, cans, disposables plates, plastic spoons, and sachet bags, nylon bags, etc…
At that point, she felt like jumping out of her car and telling these men about the effects of plastic pollution, how they cause harm to the animals, how sewage is thrown into the ocean resulting to ingestion, and an entanglement of marine animals. She wanted to let them know that it is predicted that by 2050, the mass of plastic in the world’s oceans will be more than the fishes that live there.
In addition, she wished she could tell them that plastics are one of the major causes of pollution in tap water and fracking which creates underground cavities in rock formation thereby destabilizing them and eventually leading to earthquakes. She wanted them to know that the main cause of flooding on Lagos Island was an aftermath of the cumulation of their plastics and sachets bags.
She could stop by and educate them but instead, she drove past and continued her journey. A lot of us know the harm, see the daily catastrophes but we do nothing about them. Your opinion is significant and important, let it out! Sensitizing people on the effects of their unconscious act will further foster change to the planet.
The fact remains that our continent will be one of the most populous in the world. It is high time its citizens got more involved in the recycling business and shifting to a more biodegradable means of packaging. The planet should come first because without a good environment, people and economy cannot survive, these three need to be balanced properly.