We are pleased to introduce Going Green Recycling Company (GGRC). We are in active partnership with the Going Green Natural Foundation (GGNF) in our quest to play a vital and necessary role in creating awareness in our society that there is an urgent need for us to stop the pollution of our environment, especially plastic bag pollution. (Plastic is a non-biodegradable material, takes 500-1000 years to decompose). In 1974 the first use of plastic bags was introduced to stores, and today over one Trillion bags are used each year (all the plastics ever manufactured worldwide are still in existence on earth). A family of four uses approximately 1500 plastic bags a year.
Plastic bags and bottles are clogging our drainages, killing our livestock and wildlife. Fish in the ocean confuse plastic pieces for plankton (food). There is an ever growing patch of discarded plastics in the Pacific Ocean (approx. 700,000 sq km) 3/4 the size of Nigeria and ships must navigate around it.
We should be aware of the implications of climate change, green house gas emissions and its effect on the erosion of the Ozone layer.
As Nigerians we go about our daily activities impervious of the impact our collective activities are having on our environment. Recall the recent floods that took place in Lokoja and some coastal towns? Preview of things to come. Weather extremes such as excessive rainfall (due to climate change), rising sea levels increases the risk of coastal flooding (Nigeria has 893 km of coastline). Most parts of Lagos is less than 5 meters above sea level, and others below sea level such as Maroko, this means that the whole of Lagos could someday be submerged by the advancing ocean, maybe sooner than we imagine if precautionary measures are not taken now. Ifako-Ijaye the farthest part of Lagos from the ocean is just about 40 km (measured in a straight line) from the shoreline. The advancing ocean is clearly apparent in the continuous erosion of Alpha beach, Badagary beach and others. Goshen Beach estate in Lekki built in 2003 with the ocean 100 km away is now less than 20 km from the shoreline.
The development of Lekki Peninsula (and other indiscriminate land filled areas of Lagos Island) is with little or no consideration for imminent rising sea levels. Lagos had an area of 200 sqkm 1960 and in 2001 had 1,140 sqkm, now 3,577 sqkm and still expanding. Can this growth in Landmass be realistic? Considering that we do not have adequate drainage systems in place, and what drainage systems we do have, we fail to maintain. Houses are built on flood plains; our canals are blocked due to inadequate waste disposal systems. (pure water plastic bags, empty plastic bottles and plastic bags everywhere).
Nigeria (population 182 million) may use 50 billion plastic bags alone (not to mention bottled & pure water plastics) each year. Other countries are taking serious steps to rid their society of the use of cheap/free plastic bags and their menace to the environment, by enforcing taxes on plastic bags or a charge to the shopper. In Ireland for example there is a 97.5% reduction in the number of plastic bags handed out in the shops as a result of these charges.
The Bangladesh Government population (158 million) imposed an outright ban on all plastic bags after they found it to be the cause of blockage to their drainage systems during the 1988 and 1990 floods that submerged 2/3 of the country.
Should we patiently await same faith? We have to put an end to our negative pattern of environmental pollution and start making conscious lifestyle changes in our activities to improve on our pollution causing activities.
As Nigerians, we are adept at wishful thinking, rejecting obvious outcomes and adapting to every given situation, but rapid flooding and sudden weather extremes may really test our adaptation abilities. We have a choice to deal with the outcome of environment pollution now or we must do so later. Small actions do make a difference, such as choosing recycled paper bags over plastic bags, using recycled paper for our printing purposes, or recycling empty plastic bottles, proper waste management etc. and importantly, helping others to do the same.
Nigeria cannot remain insulated from the worldwide campaign launched on environmental grounds against the use of plastic and single use bags in carry bags and packaging. Soon the government will have to take action on the current trend of continuous pollution by plastics in our environment. There is an urgent need for us as individuals and corporate bodies to come together to put an end to the use of plastic bags, kindly partner with GGRC and become a major player in today’s advancing world of going green.
Let’s leave a better legacy for future generations. STOP the lip service, make a decision, and take action NOW!
GOING GREEN RECYCLING COMPANY (GGRC) and GOING GREEN NATURAL FOUNDATION (GGNF)