As part of effort to address plastic pollution and end open defecation in public schools, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Ecocykle Development Foundation, in collaboration with Lift Humanity Foundation; Global Recycling Foundation; African Environmental Awareness Initiative and Step-Up Green Climate Warriors Initiative, has constructed a toilet with 6,500 plastic bottles at the Nyanya-Gbagyi Primary School, New-Nyanya, Karu Local Government Area (LGA) of Nasarawa State.
Ecocykle said the project was aimed at addressing open defecation problems commonly practiced in rural and suburban public schools, while also promoting effective waste management, promoting good hygiene practices and mainstreaming the circular economy among young people in Nigeria.
Speaking during the commissioning of the toilet, the Executive Director of Ecocykle, Aliyu Sadiq, said, “We see plastic pollution as a critical issue in the world today affecting not just Nigeria but other countries, and this has lots of impacts on human and environmental health. Our focus as an organisation is to provide solutions that are innovative and actually create change. So, we look at this project as one that doesn’t just address plastic pollution, but also critically looks at the issue of open defecation.
“When we came to this school, we found out that many pupils and students had the issue of toilet facilities, so we integrated addressing plastic pollution, as well as helping solve the problem of open defecation, and that was how we came about achieving this toilet facility today, which is eco-friendly.”
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Also, the students of Nyanya-Gbagyi Secondary School were taught how to make artworks with the covers of plastic bottles.
A Senior Secondary School (SSS) 2 student, Ojochena Jubril, said, “We humans live on the planet and so it is our duty to make it a safer place for all living things. We all need to recycle waste in a sustainable manner in order to make lives safer.”
He added that Ecocykle would replicate the project in as many places as possible until plastic waste became scarce.
Daily Trust reports that plastic pollution has been identified as contributing to the climate change crisis. According to the Geneva Environment Network, “As 99 per cent of plastics are made from fossil feedstocks. Plastic pollution is indubitably linked with climate change.
“Plastics are threatening the ability of the global community to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C, as greenhouse gases (GHG) are emitted throughout the plastic life cycle. Indeed, extraction, refining and manufacture of plastics are all carbon-intensive activities. At the disposal stage, incineration of plastic waste releases significant GHG into the atmosphere alongside toxic pollutants.”
The network, however, insisted that plastic reuse, including recycling, also come with their share of GHG emissions.
The International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET) also said using the concept of plastic bottle construction was cost effective, energy efficient and commercially feasible.