Take-away Packs Swarm Surulere Neighbourhood After Rain, Increasing Plastic Pollution Concerns

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Take-away Packs Swarm Surulere Neighbourhood After Rain, Increasing Plastic Pollution Concerns
Akobi Crescent, Surulere. Photo by @Engr_Series.

Last week, Folio Nigeria profiled Intissar Bashir-Kurfi, the 28-year-old mother of three whose company Ifrique Eco Solutions is collection nylon and converting it to interlocking tiles—helping clear in the process part of the 1,191 tons of waste produced daily in Abuja. Her work exemplifies the innovative leadership required to preserve the environment.

Presently, several neighbourhoods in Surulere, Lagos are currently swarmed by take-away packs following rains on the night of June 5. Irony: June 5 was World Environment Day; the theme was “Beat Plastic Pollution.” In Nigeria, 60 million plastic sachet water bags are disposed daily, with the country ranked ninth in the world for marine pollution, which includes 0.34 million tonnes of plastic debris in 2010. In addition to ecological problems, these cause significant health risks.

The exacerbation of the plastic pollution in Surulere is, like in many Nigerian urban settings, a result of a poor drainage system and a weak disposal culture. However, this also presents an opportunity for innovation similar to what Intissar is doing with nylon: recycling them for practical use.

Here are photos and videos shared on Twitter.

Commenters are shifting responsibility between the Lagos State government, for its failure to install an efficient disposal system, and Surulere inhabitants, for their lack of a disposal culture.

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Take-away Packs Swarm Surulere Neighbourhood After Rain, Increasing Plastic Pollution Concerns
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The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has since begun clearing the waste.

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