As part of activities marking the 44th World Environmental Day (WED), stakeholders in the nation’s aviation industry yesterday gathered at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Lagos for the purpose of examining the nature and extent of the pollution caused by the proliferation of plastic wastes in aviation environment.
The event organized by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) with the theme: Beat Plastic Pollution” also created a forum to discuss policy options required to address this menace for the sustainability of the industry.
Speaking at the event, Managing Director of FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma stated that since 1974, the focus of integrating human interactions and developments and the environment has been that of keeping the only planet earth we have, safe and healthy.
Engr. Dunoma stated that this year’s edition is being used to specifically point global attention to the challenges of plastic pollution coming from all facets of human environment.
The FAAN boss who was represented by FAAN’s Director of Engineering Services, Engr. Salisu Daura pointed out, that although, airports 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. This he said could contribute to plastic waste generation into the immediate and the larger environment.
According to Dunoma, the aim of the United Nations on this year’s theme is not to pass the bulk but to reduce the statistics by proffering solutions that will be far reaching and attract commitment from all stakeholders.
Available statistics are evidences of everyone’s contributions to this challenge. 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”, Dunoma said.
In his own goodwill message, Director of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhktar Usman stated that it is expected that the resultant effect of the gathering should affect aviation environment positively, starting with everyone’s determination to take ownership of our environment and to actively protect us from plastic and other pollutants.
Capt Usman who was also represented by a senior NCAA official, Mrs. Oyetu Adegbesan noted that implementing environmental best practices and policies at the airports is therefore essential to achieve an environmentally sustainable aviation sector as a whole.
According to him, the use of plastic products has increased massively in aviation environment over the years which has caused massive pollution, adding that the cost of removing these pollutions has proved to be prohibitive.
Commending FAAN for putting the event together, Usman said “the primary objective of NCAA has been to create an enabling environment which will encourage and ensure dynamic growth of the aviation industry that is sustainable through safe, secure and efficient services”.
He equally advised that that all stakeholders as well as passengers passing through the airport to assist in putting an end to plastic waste with simple acts like using reusable water bottle.
The World Environmental Day was well attended by stakeholders in the aviation industry, including CEOs of agencies, experts, workers and the media.