FRIDAY 16TH NOVEMBER 2018
Plastic Recycling: The day was Friday, the 16th day of November 2018. The time was about 9am. I was on my way to the town of Owerri the Imo State capital of Nigeria. However, my attention was drawn to two men piling-up what seemed like heavy load on a stationary pick-up van. As usual, I stopped and walked closed to them. It was then that I noticed that the presumed heavy loads were plastic can wastes. They are meant for plastic recycling and not as heavy as I thought.
They were struggling to tie it on the van probably in order to take it to ‘a destination’.
I was so astonished. Moreover, I imagined how they got all those empty dirty plastic cans to make a pyramid of it. I also wondered what they would be used for.
Therefore, I went straight to them and greeted them. They felt greatly uneasy. I gave them my ID card and introduced myself to them. They felt a bit relaxed. They told me that they thought I was one of the tax force people that extort money from them for no reason.
I went straight to my point and asked why they packed dirty plastic cans. Where they got them from, what they will use them for.
Without mincing words amidst doing their tying job, one of them told me thus:
“You are welcome. You see these cans we are tying here, they are the empty plastic cans that litter everywhere in this town. People drink water, soft drinks, etc and throw away the can anyhow. The empty cans are littered everywhere in the state. If you look around now you will see them. That’s how we pick them”.
“We pick them from roads, waste bins, gutters, from the stream, anywhere. We even buy from other people that pick empty rubber cans. As you see us loading these cans, we are selling them to people that will export them to China”.
“Look at that flex banner there (pointing at a flex banner), this can is what they used to produce it after recycling these plastics. Look at those motor headlight covers, that is what they use in producing them”.
“I make a lot of money from this since I lost my job. People laugh at us but they don’t know that this pays more than bank work”. He concluded.
I thanked the two men took some photos and left.
Back home, I realized that plastic recycling has been adopted and actively practiced in many civilized countries. I realized the need for plastic recycling in Nigeria.
IMPORTANCE OF PLASTIC RECYCLING
Plastic recycling will not only create job, but contribute to reduction in environmental pollution and ecosystem balance. It will also help in attracting investors to build industries in Nigeria. Most importantly, this will add to the development of this country. Above all, plastic recycling also means additional income to the nation.
Nigeria should adopt and encourage plastic recycling today.