~~~ Opakunle Olaotan Alexander
National Association of Geography Students in conjunction with National Environmental Science Students Association has held a programme tagged: “Beat plastic pollution, waste to wealth.”
In celebration of the World Environmental Day which is in line with the United Nations principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment, students were being enlightened on the usefulness of beating plastic waste as a means of transforming waste to wealth.
The event started with the President of NAGS, Aderibigbe Olubunmi, giving a rousing speech on purpose of the World Environmental Day and outlined to the audience the need to preserve and conserve the environment and its resources.
The Vice Chancellor of the University as represented by the Dean of Students affairs unit, Professor L. T. Ajibade, extended the warm regards from the Vice Chancellor and declared the event open.
The Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Professor N. B. Tanimowo, also emphasized the relevance of the environment and the need to curb environmentally unfriendly practices such as deforestation, pollution and excessive waste generation.
The HOD of Geography and Environmental Management department, Dr. U. A. Raheem, stated the need to adjust our lifestyles in a way that would be environmentally sustainable and the need to bring together environmentally allied departments within the University to help solve environmental issues.
The keynote speech delivered by Miss Funmi Oyatogun, an Alumni of the University of Colorado and the University of Edinburgh, elaborated on the need to beat plastic wastes in our environment reminding the audience in a highly entertaining interactive session of the journey of a plastic bottle from its raw material state as petroleum through its refining processes till it comes out eventually as the plastic bottles and sachets we use for packaging purposes and why we must work hard as a society to make sure we reduce as much as possible the amount of plastics we use.
According to her, plastics are taking over the world oceans and it is necessary that we do something positive before we lose the battle against plastics. She further enjoined the audience to re-evaluate our idea of the term “sophistication” and why we need to realize that true sophistication lies in a conscious effort to live an eco-friendly life and not in a life of consumerism.
The second keynote speaker at the event Amusa Temitope Victor, an award winning and widely travelled entrepreneur and CEO of VICFOLD RECYCLERS in his treatise titled: BEAT PLASTIC POLLUTION; WAYS TO WEALTH explained that a total ban on plastics in the country is not feasible as our packaging and economic activities depend heavily on the plastic industries.
He encouraged authorities to incentify waste collection as this would encourage people to gather their wastes in expectation of a good reward. His main message centred on recycling of plastic waste and he outlined several ways by which money can be made off recycling and he ended his lecture with the famous “Together We Can” mantra.
The event witnessed the launch of NAGS magazine as invited dignitaries dignitaries donated enormously to launch the magazine.