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Rethinking plastic shopping bags

21.02.2019 - Article

Avoiding waste, especially of single use plastic bags, is something everybody can do. It does not need laws and regulations for that, just common sense, says the German Embassy in Nigeria.

Rethink plastic bag sculpture by Ifesinachi Nwanyanwu.
Rethink plastic bag sculpture by Ifesinachi Nwanyanwu.© Ifesinachi Nwanyanwu

The German Embassy in Nigeria is the proud sponsor of the sculpture of Ifesinachi Nwanyanwu. It is in line with this year's motto of World Environment Day 'Fight Plastic Pollution.'  “Germany has a strong record in waste management, recycling and avoiding of waste.

Avoiding waste, especially of single use plastic bags, is something everybody can do. It does not need laws and regulations for that, just common sense. A plastic bag can easily be substituted by a cotton bag made from beautiful Nigerian ankara. We hope that the sculpture and the awareness raising campaign by Ifesinachi Nwanyanwu and his team, one@environment, is an eye opener to many and helps reducing the use of plastic bags. Fewer plastic bags in use automatically reduce the number of plastic bags which, if not disposed in a dust bin, end up in the environment, block sewage systems, cause floods and increase the danger of spreading health risks like cholera.

Mrs. Hess, German Deputy Ambassador in Nigeria.
Mrs. Hess, German Deputy Ambassador in Nigeria.© Ifesinachi Nwanyanwu

According to the sculptor, Ifesinachi Nwanyanwu,  ”the Nigerian parlance ‘chop chop’ means to eat, to chop money is to spend money, extravagantly. Everyday we chop money in the markets, malls, different places of choice. We also chop plastic shopping bags as well, because in most cases they are used to package our chops.“

With funding from Germany, under one Environment Hybrid, he set out to bring the campaign on recycling, upcycling and possibly rejecting plastic shopping bags to the public using art. Months back he set up a plastic shopping bag collection table at Novare Gateway, a major shopping mall in Abuja. People donated single use plastic bags which he used to create the shopping bag! Plastic shopping bags are toxic with 1,000 years life span before they decompose, and we lack the infrastructure for proper management of the waste generated. They end up in the landfills and natural environment, causing more harm than the average 12-minute usage. When next you chop money, make you chop remain for the environment.

©German Embassy in Nigeria

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