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Assessing the Environmental Pollution Caused by the Disposal of Polythene Bags in Damaturu Local Government Area, Yobe State

Alhassan Alkali, Umar Faruk Usman


Polyethylene or polythene bags are manufactured using ethylene, which is a gas generated during the production of coal, oil, and gas as a secondary product. The majority of plastics are non-biodegradable and can persist in the environment for extended periods, lasting hundreds of years. Nigeria is facing a growing issue with plastic waste, with Yobe state alone producing approximately 132,112 tons of plastic waste every year. In an effort to shed light on the impact of polyethylene bags on the environment, a study was conducted in Damaturu. The study aimed to examine the existing patterns of consumption, the resulting litter generated, and potential strategies for managing this issue. Data of the study collected using questionnaire were a total of 80 questionnaires distributed in Pawari, Pompomari, Nayinawa, Gwange and Maisandari of Damaturu Local Government. The findings revealed that a significant majority (52%) of the participants relied heavily on plastic materials, particularly polythene bags, in various aspects of their daily lives. Plastic waste materials are typically combined with municipal solid waste and are commonly either landfilled or incinerated. However, it is noteworthy that only 46% of this solid waste is directed to official landfills, while the remaining 54% is disposed of in open dumpsites. Consequently, lightweight materials like polythene bags, when left in open containers or dumpsites, can easily drift in the natural surroundings. However, the utilization and disposal of these bags raise sustainability concerns due to their improper use and inadequate management practices. Polyethylene bags possess a semi-transparent or opaque appearance with a slight cloudy quality, enabling a glimpse of the items enclosed within. However, the specific details of the contents may not be discernible. In addition to the physical harm caused to wildlife and domestic animals each year due to ingestion or entanglement in plastic, there are other consequential issues. Based on the study findings, it is crucial to halt the proliferation of plastic in the environment. The research strongly advocates for the adoption of paper and traditional bags as alternatives to plastic materials. In addition to recycling initiatives and raising public awareness, it is vital for decision makers to take decisive actions to address the detrimental impact of plastic waste on the environment.


Polythene, surroundings, impact, pollution, Yobe state

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