Environmentalist harps on upcycling activities to reduce plastic pollution

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An environmentalist, Mr Adewole Taiwo, has called for increased upcycling activities to curb the rate of plastic pollution in the country.

Taiwo, a Director at Recyclepoints, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.

NAN reports that upcycling is the act of taking something, no longer in use, and giving it a second life and new function.

In doing so, the finished product often becomes more practical, valuable and beautiful than what it previously was.

The environmentalist disclosed that the adoption of upcycling by Nigerians will contribute immensely to the attainment of a circular economy.

“Upcycling has to do with the transformation of materials to useful and decorative items and at the same time increasing their life span.

“Upcycling contributes to the attainment of a circular economy and preservation of our depleting natural resources,’’ he said.

A circular economy ensures resources are maintained within the economy even when a product has attained the end of its life so that they can be used again and again and hence create further value.

“With upcycling, materials that should have ended up at landfills are converted to useful materials.

“A good example is the use of old tyres in making furniture, which saves us from cutting trees for making furniture.

“It gives such materials a second life instead of ending in landfill, thereby increasing the lifespan of the material, it basically promotes re-use of materials.

“Although upcycling plays a minimal role in reducing plastics pollution, in comparison to recycling, it still contributes in curbing the pollution,’’ the environmentalist told NAN.

Taiwo noted that there were variations in the roles of upcycling and recycling activities in curbing plastic pollution but none supersedes the other.

He also called for the training of the younger generation in the practice of upcycling activities.

“Unlike recycling that has to do with a total breakdown of wastes into raw materials, upcycling help in transforming waste materials into useful and decorative household items.

“Recycling of plastics, on the other hand, has to do with large volume plastic pollution reduction.

“As regards the adoption of upcycling or recycling in curbing plastic waste, one cannot supersede the other because both are working towards the same goal.

“It is, however, good to note that recycling is more expensive than upcycling, as upcycling requires minimal training to embark on it.

“We can and should encourage the younger generation to adopt the upcycling culture by inculcating environmental education into our school curriculum and the start of ‘Eco Clubs’ in schools,’’ Taiwo said. (NAN)

– Oct. 3, 2020 @ 11:37 GMT |

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