Elizade University Develops Mechanism For The Removal Of Micro-plastics From Agricultural Soil System

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Elizade University has developed a plastic waste solution in agricultural systems known as customized biodegradable mulch (AgriBioMulch) for natural soil conditions, which is now being put up for adoption.

Williams Olufunmi, Head, Public Relations, Elizade University in a press release on Friday stated that the new feat has become a landmark research breakthrough to plastic pollution, adding that the Research which was undertaken in conjunction with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Pretoria, South Africa, was sponsored through a grant on Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) by UK-aid and four other European bodies.


The Research work Bio-Degradable Mulch (BDM) Films with Customized Biodegradation rates in Natural Soil Conditions can bio-degrade completely in soil and enrich agricultural soil without any negative impact.


Pioneered by Dr. Omotola Dada an Associate Professor, Elizade University in collaboration with Dr Vincent Ojijo, Specialist in Environmental Engineering and Lead Applicant, SMEP Research from CSIR, South Africa, the research benefits include the removal of micro-plastics from agricultural soil system; weed, pests and disease control as well as water moisture conservation in agriculture soil.


At a blended stakeholders meeting on the adoption of the research-breakthrough with a field experience from Nigeria, the Vice-Chancellor of Elizade University, Professor Kayode Ijadunola noted with delight that the gathering has provided opportunity to address global and pressing concern that threatens the well-being and survival of mankind.


He noted that plastic pollution has infiltrated lands, oceans and even the remotest corners of the planet with far- reaching consequence on ecosystems, wildlife and human health.

Professor Ijadunola said the agricultural systems have equally not been spared, particularly through the use of non-degradable plastic mulch films to cultivate crops which release micro plastics and other chemical pollutants into the food chain thus rendering farm produce unsafe for human consumption.

According to him, toxic gases are emitted when plastic mulch films are burnt on farm after use, while the undisposed ones left on the farm produce residual fragments of plastic films that remain in agricultural soils for 200 to 400 years.

Professor Ijadunola noted with satisfaction that the innovative and novel research findings to solve the problem in Nigeria is being first implemented in Ondo State through the Elizade University pilot research farm project of the Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) program.

He said Elizade University is committed to promoting sustainable practices and raising awareness among students, faculty and staff while pledging to intensify efforts at reducing plastic waste, implementing recycling programs and advocating responsible consumption.
Professor Ijadunola challenged students to engage in research, develop innovative solutions and influence policy changes that can make lasting impact on the environment.


He called for a network of like-minded individuals committed to sound plastic-free future, noting that the fate of our planet lies in our hands, stressing that, it is our collective responsibility to act as guardians of the environment, to preserve its beauty, and therefore secure a flourishing future for generations to come.


The Dean Faculty of Basic and Allied Sciences, Professor Festus Adebiyi described the research work of Dr. Omotola Dada as coming at the hour of need as global solution towards environmental protection and food security, charging other scientists and researchers to come up with more breath-taking innovations that will positively impact our environment and the global community.


The Ondo State Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Oseni Oyeniyi Is happy that the research breakthrough will reduce the menace of plastic waste pollution, just as it serves as a home grown solution to farmers’ dilemma with non-degradable plastic mulch films in agricultural land.


The convener of the Blended Stakeholders Meeting on The Adoption of Customized Biodegradable Mulch Films For Natural Soil Conditions, Dr. Omotola Dada, is delighted that farmers are enthusiastically embracing the breakthrough initiative which she explains will lead to increased farm yield and enriched soil fertility among others.
The Stakeholders meeting drew participants from various divides including the academia, policy and decision makers, environmentalists, agriculture experts, farmers, technocrats, Community Based Organizations, (CBOs) and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) among others.

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