To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles Champions Group has conducted an environmental sanitation and awareness programme in the community of Lafiaji, Lagos State.

The group, which consists of employees of commercial banks, development financial institutions, and mortgage banks, said in a statement that in a bid to promote sustainability in the financial industry, it decided to conduct the clean-up exercise and raise awareness in Lafiaji community.

According to the Sustainable Finance Associate at Access Corporation, Kosiso Iwugo, the country has a lot of plastic waste in the ocean, which poses a threat to its sea animals.

She claimed the clean-up exercise was part of NBSP’s initiatives to tackle the country’s water pollution challenges.

“We organised this clean-up at the Lafiaji beach in a bid to protect the environment, protect marine life, address the issues of biodiversity loss, and raise awareness on climate change, especially on the importance of having clean beaches.

“We are also encouraging the residents to use less plastic where possible. If there are other alternatives to plastic, be it paper bags that you can use to pack or to store items, you don’t always have to use plastic because plastic takes a very long while to decay and that is bad for the environment. It is bad for the ocean. So, we are encouraging a lot of people to do that,” Iwugo said.

On his part, the Principal Plogga at Plogging Nigeria, Sodiq Jinad, said, “Undoubtedly, the issue of plastic pollution is complex and demands a comprehensive approach to tackle it. This involves employing various strategies such as raising awareness, increasing public outreach, promoting recycling, and encouraging upcycling. Sensitisation efforts like the one today are an effective strategy in enhancing environmental sustainability, combating plastic pollution, and striving for a healthier environment.”

He further stated that it was important that all institutions – the private sector government and other relevant stakeholders, key into the issue of sustainability for a better planet and make it better for all to live in.

According to the Team Lead of Sustainability at Polaris Bank, Yemi Akinrelere, research suggests that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean will surpass the number of fish present. “This trend is further compounded by the fact that the fish we consume already contain microplastics, which could potentially pose long-term health risks. It is crucial to address these issues and work towards preventing the continued accumulation of plastic in our oceans to safeguard our well-being in the future.

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