The Chief Executive Officer of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Saleh Dunoma says airports contribute to generation of plastic wastes that end up polluting the environment.
In his welcome address at the 44th edition of the World Environment Day held today in Lagos, Dunoma said “the airports though do not produce plastic products; however, they provide avenues for installations of plastic products in form of facilities as well as selling of items packed in plastic containers, thereby contributing to plastic waste generation into the immediate and the larger environment.”
He however pointed out that “only one sector could not have been responsible for the over 200,000 metric tonnes of plastic wastes that find their way into the water bodies every year in the country. Only one sector could not have been responsible for the ranking of Nigeria as one of the top twenty countries with the worst plastic waste management.”
In his Goodwill Message at the event with the theme, ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Usman Muthar, who was represented by Mrs. Oyetewon Adegbesan said plastic had become a major pollutant and that airports were working with airlines to ensure proper handling of environmental pollutants, including plastics. She added that the scale of use of plastics in the aviation industry had increased over the years and that implementation of airport environmental protection policy was necessary for the industry.
The Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Engr. Akin Olateru, who was represented by Olumide Osineye, General Manager, Security offered FAAN suggestions on how to reduce plastic waste, including getting rid of bottled water and making use of reuseable water bottles as a substitute, thus reducing plastic waste and exposure to leaking bottles.”
“Concessionaires at airport can be advised on options they can switch to for packaging, storing and bagging items. Many companies around the world today are coming up with excellent low-cost replacements, such as bamboo utensils in place of plastic ones,” he advised.
The Chairman of Nigeria Environmental Society, Dr. Eugene Itua said plastics make aircraft lighter and that in today’s economy, the high cost of fuel and the push for lower ticket prices drive airlines to purchase aircraft that are as light as possible, adding that plastics make aircraft lighter.