Little did we know in Nigeria that we are responsible for what we produce and consume, the chain involves all of us, the producer, the consumer and the policymakers.
We have overstretched the carrying capacity of our environment through different environmental degradation and consumption patterns, the earlier we key into the sustainable consumption and production patterns the better for us and the future of upcoming Nigerians, our waterways are blocked with satchel and plastic waste, we don’t have the culture to trash our can for recycling, we don’t have the choice to choose sustainable product or service that is recyclable, we don’t have the capacity to develop a policy that will reduce the production of food or drink package that are not recyclable.
Looking at these woes in Nigeria, it’s time to rethink how we use plastics, some of the major long-term effects of plastic pollution are; land pollution, air pollution and amongst the most seriously affected are the coastal communities which will ultimately call for increased expenditures for beach cleaning, public health, waste disposal, litter removal and waste management. Arguably there may be more plastic on the waterways in Nigeria compare to fish.
There must be a proactive measure to curb this menace through sustainable consumption and production, it is estimated that by 2030 seven hundred million people will be displaced worldwide due to water scarcity, I am sure you all know our share in this number because of our weak culture towards reducing the spate of plastic waste in Nigeria.
The united nation sustainable development goal twelve is titled sustainable consumption and production, it aims to bring to the consciousness of global citizen to know the negative impact of environmental degradation through uncultured lifestyle.
March 15th is world consumer right day and this year theme is: sustainable consumer, this is a wakeup call to us all as individual or consumer, we have enormous power, in the purchase choice we make and how we use and dispose the waste of those purchases and majorly on our ability to use our purchasing power to influence the business owner to package their product with recyclable items that do not have effect on the environment sustainability to the present people and people in the future.
We must also influence our policymakers to create a policy that will make production companies produce products that are recyclable and environmentally friendly. This system cut-across all supply chain system of business through the manufacturer to the retailer and the consumers, it can also be controlled through procurement process where there will be public demand for sustainable production as a criterion for selection.
I like to conclude this my call to Nigerians with an adage that says, if the heaven falls it is not on one person but all of us, let us consume and produce sustainably.
Aliyu Ilias is an Abuja based Customer Experience Management Expert and Consumer Advocate