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Zero Waste Ambassadors to Audit Products Generating Most Plastic Waste in Uyo

Zero Waste Ambassadors to Audit Products Generating Most Plastic Waste in Uyo

A cluster of civil society organisations working on wastes management and other environmental issues in Akwa Ibom State, Zero Waste Ambassadors have declared plans to audit products generating most waste in the Akwa Ibom State capital, Uyo.

 The Zero Waste Ambassadors said this will be done during the clean-up exercise in Uyo on Saturday 16th September in a bid to mark the 2023 world clean-up daywith a view to getting the organisations behind the product involved in effort at reduction of waste.

The Cluster at a joint press conference held in Uyo on Wednesday, noted that the audit is designed to encourage community action to wastes management, promote the culture of wastes segregation and recycling as well as discourage the harmful practice of indiscriminate disposal of wastes in the State, will feature and brand audit.

Representatives of some organisations in the cluster, Ubong Matthew from Plasticultured, Faith Paulinus from Policy Alert, Etia Nwaenang and Mbetobong John from Well of Science, and Ikemesit Utuk from She is Sheep Association called on Akwa Ibom people to join the clean-up exercise at 7a.m Saturday across Uyo Capital City.

According to the Coordinator of Zero Waste Ambassadors in Akwa Ibom State, Faith Paulinus  “We need to know the brands that pollute our environment the most. We want to identify the ones with the highest plastic waste, so that we can engage these brands. We will write to them and see how they can be involved in our plans to reduce plastic waste, one of which is reducing single use plastic containers”.

The cluster said though Akwa Ibom has been named the cleanest State in Nigeria for three years consecutively, the prevailing culture of indiscriminate disposal of wastes by residents of the State calls for action, adding that current wastes management system in the State which focuses more on wastes evacuation was not sustainable.

The cluster said “Globally, we are talking about waste segregation, recycling and zero wastes. We have come to the stage in Akwa Ibom where we need to integrate the community into the waste management system so that we can build a robust culture where people and community take responsibility for managing their wastes. Clean-up is best when it is collaborative.”

They offered insight to the fact that the agency runs a closed door policy, does not respond to public inquiries including genuine efforts at collaborations by development partners.

 The cluster called on the Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Wastes Management Agency to be opened and accountable to the people thus helping the State advance in waste management efforts.

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“We call on AKSEPWMA to have a human face. You cannot be managing our wastes and not be accountable to the citizens. The agency should have regular interface with the citizens, civil society organisations, and other key players in the sector. We call on the Chairman of the agency to reply to messages, letters and respond to calls. There is a need for collaboration.”

They commended residents of Ikot Abasi street in Uyo, for coming together to manage what was a troubling waste situation in the area, saying that community approach to waste management is one of the best practices that should be promoted to integrate people into the waste management system to enhance Akwa Ibom’s status as the cleanest State in Nigeria.

The Cluster called for an effective recycling system in Akwa Ibom State.

The Zero Waste Ambassadors told newsmen  that they will be working with clean-up clubs and other partners at designated locations including Ikot Abasi street, University of Uyo, Akpan Ndem and Itam markets, during the clean-up Uyo exercise on Saturday.

They encouraged members of the public who will participate in the exercise at other locations  to take photos and post them on social media with either of the hashtags #CleanUpUyo, #PlasticAudit, #BrandAudit, #WorldCleanUpDay23.

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