Despite official efforts to organize waste collection and the presence of small specialized companies, plastic pollution is a major environmental and public health problem for Africa’s most populous city.
The beaches are characterized by mountains of garbage, as in Lighthouse, the largest beach, which is bathed by the waters of the Atlantic, which extends to neighboring Benin for 100 kilometers.
Recycle the plastic
“It’s time to make people aware of the need to protect the environment, especially plastic,” Chioma Chukwura, a digital marketing consultant who protects himself from the sun with a colorful wide-brimmed hat, tells AFP.
At the end of the day, the team of volunteers filled 230 bags with plastic waste, waiting in the hot sand for the garbage truck to arrive.
“A recycling company will come and get them,” Owoade Yussuf, responsible for this independent citizen movement, told AFP.
“Cleaning the beaches improves the lives of local communities, who could make a living from tourism,” he says. “However, to attract people to the beach, we need to have a clean beach,” he adds.
The team cleaned up 100 meters of sand, but there is still a lot to be done.
“It would take two months, non-stop, every day, to clean up this beach. And we have to find a way to prevent plastic from coming back,” said Ebube Nwosu, a computer scientist and volunteer, a little disappointed.
Experts from the French research group Polímeros Oceanos revealed in February that around 10 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans each year and that cleaning is no longer possible due to the high costs that the task would require.
However, at Lighthouse beach, plastic is not the only problem.
Along the coast there are huge carcasses of shipwrecks, discreetly abandoned by unscrupulous shipowners. Clearing the coastal waters of this debris is more difficult and more expensive.
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