Proper plastic waste management is the only means of limiting the rate at which plastic wastes end up in the ocean which may have adverse effect on the existence of humans, the
Director, International Ocean Institute (IOI-Nigeria Centre), Mr Akanbi Williams has stated .

Akanbi made this assertion in his open remarks on Thursday during the 2023 World Ocean Day organized by the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) in conjunction with IOI-Nigeria in Lagos.

He highlighted the need to address challenges such as overfishing, marine pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change impacts.
His word: “The yearly celebration of the Ocean Day as recognised by the United Nations encourages people to adopt responsible practices, such as plastic waste reduction, supporting sustainable fisheries, and protecting marine ecosystems. It encourages international cooperation and collaboration by providing platforms for sharing knowledge, best practices, and innovative solutions for the sustainable management of Ocean.
“People are to take personal actions by participating in beach cleanups, reducing plastic consumption, supporting sustainable seafood choices, and spreading awareness through social media and community initiatives and by participating in events commemorating this day shows that everyone can contribute to the well-being of our oceans. It is time we put the ocean first in our lives” he charged.

“IOI-NIGERIA in conjunction with the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research NIOMR commemorates this year’s event with activities highlighting the importance of reducing plastic pollution entering the environment and ultimately our Ocean. 

Plastic wastes have become serious issues in many countries including Nigeria.

 The common solutions proffered globally have been to Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle and Refuse (the 4Rs), and activities for this year’s event are to highlight the problems and to showcase the success stories of recycling and upcycling (re-use) of plastic wastes in Nigeria” the Director stressed.

In his speech, Guest Speaker of the day, Mr. Taiwo Adewole while speaking on the topic “Plastic Pollution: The Problems and the Solution Stories in Nigeria” disclosed that about 14,000 tons of plastic wastes are being generated everyday in Lagos alone.

“The amount of plastic waste flowing into the ocean and killing marine life could triple in the next 20 years, unless companies and governments can drastically reduce plastic production.”
“Single-use plastic consumption has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the International Solid Waste Association, face masks and latex gloves are washing up daily on remote beaches.

 Landfills worldwide are piled high with record amounts of takeaway food containers and online delivery packaging.” he posited.
Mr. Adewole however clamoured for proper waste management especially in the area of making wealth from plastic wastes by sighting numerous materials made from plastic wastes such as pellets, pet bottles, polyester stable fibre, bottle to bottle production, plastic bricks and plastic to fuel and so on.

Stakeholders in the maritime industry were part of the session including Head of Fisheries Resources, Dr. Patience Obatola, Representatives of the Nigerian Navy, Hydrographic Office, Lieutenant Commander A.G Ajegena, Vice President, Fisheries Society of Nigeria, Dr. Lekan Oguntade, Mrs. Peju Ibekwe of Sterling-1 Foundation and  numerous other people who joined remotely from countries around the world.

At the end of the event, there was demonstration and exhibition of waste-to-wealth products from organizations such as Tidy Nigeria, Craft The Trash, Fare International Foundation, Ecoviridis Environmental Technology among others.

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