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Wet wipes ‘forming islands’ across UK after being flushed

Wet wipes

Wet wipes ‘forming islands’ across UK after being flushed

Wet wipes which contain plastic are forming “islands” across the UK after being flushed, with rivers changing shape after the products pile up on their banks, MPs have heard as legislation aiming to ban their sale had its first reading in the House of Commons.

Labour MP Fleur Anderson’s plastics (wet wipes) bill would prohibit the manufacture and sale of wet wipes containing plastic if it was to pass through parliament and receive royal assent.

However, as a private member’s bill it is unlikely to become law without government support, although Downing Street has signalled it is committed to ending “the throwaway culture”.

During the first reading, MPs were told the UK needs to ban wet wipes which contain plastic because the scale of the problem caused by flushing them “is so big, so damaging and increasing so fast”.

They also heard that marine animals are dying, while Britons might be eating a “credit card’s worth of plastic” due to microplastic shards from the discarded hygiene products.

“As a mother of four children I have used a lot of wet wipes and I completely understand the pressures that parents are under and how useful wet wipes are,” Anderson said.

“I know that parents also want to do the right thing for the environment.”

But she added that 90% of the 11bn wet wipes used in the UK each year contain some form of plastic which, when broken down, turn into microplastics which can be ingested by wildlife and enter the food chain and water supply.

She added that the problem was growing, with the Great British Beach Clean reportedly seeing an increase from 1.7 wet wipes per average 100m of beach to 18 wet wipes between 2005 and 2020.

Anderson told the Commons: “When these plastics enter our local marine environment and water systems in such large volumes the damage is absolutely devastating. Globally, 100 million animals die each year from plastic waste alone.”

She also cited data from the World Wildlife Fund, which suggested people eat about five grams of plastic a week, which she described as “literally eating a credit card’s worth of plastic every week”, claiming wet wipes were a “huge cause of this”.

The MP told of a recent visit to the Thames where huge piles of wet wipes on the riverbanks had changed how it flowed, and even described seeing a “wet wipe island” in the river.

Brands such as Holland & Barrett and the Body Shop had already committed to selling only plastic-free wipes, which are usually made with bamboo or other plant fibres, Anderson said.

She said a “greater scale of production” of plastic-free wipes could be encouraged by the ban, making the alternative cheaper.

“We need legislation because the scale of the problem is so big, so damaging and increasing so fast,” said Anderson.

The bill will be considered again on Friday 19 November.

A No 10 spokesperson said the 25-year environment plan sets out “a commitment to eliminate avoidable plastic waste”.

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Chief Of Defence Staff Says Military Under Pressure To Compromise 2023 Polls

The Nigerian military on Thursday revealed that despite the fact that it is facing constant pressure to compromise the 2023 elections, it will continue to be neutral.

General Lucky Irabor,  Chief of Defence Staff disclosed this to journalists at the 61st session of the State House Ministerial Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

According the him, military personnel face pressure through inducements, but the armed forces would remain apolitical as it is taking the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the directive of the President Muhammadu Buhari  to maintain neutrality.

Irabor added that personnel are being trained to be more professional even as the rules of engagement have been codified for distribution before, during and after the elections.

The CDS also revealed that several military rescue operations and negotiations have led to the freeing of at least 300,000 people from the hands of their abductors since 2014 while refugees who fled the North-East due to insurgency, have started to return.

He said that former insurgents, now being trained, would graduate in February next year before their reintegration into the society. He added that the military is recruiting more personnel into all branches of the security services.

The goal, Irabor said, is to increase the number of on-the-ground personnel to combat insurgency and banditry and curtail oil theft which will eventually lead to increased crude oil production.

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ICPC Arraigns NSCDC Official Over N12m job Scam

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a Superintendent of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Solomon Ogodo, over allegations bordering on forgery, employment racketeering, and fraud.

ICPC, in charge no: CR/503/2022 brought before Justice M.S. Idris of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, sitting in Jabi, Abuja, accused the defendant of defrauding unsuspecting job seekers the N12.2 million.

In the five-count charge, the commission told the court that the accused person on different occasions hoodwinked members of the public into parting with different sums of money in the guise of securing employment for their relatives in the Nigeria Correctional Services (NCoS).

The court was further informed of how Mr. Ogodo, with the intent to commit fraud, forged offers of provisional appointments for some applicants into the Nigeria Correctional Services.

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Okonjo Iweala Makes Forbes List Of World’s Most Powerful Women

A former Nigerian minister of finance and current Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been named one of Forbes’s World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2022.

Forbes, an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family, has a particular focus on business, technology, communications, science, politics, and law.

The African leadership person of the year awards are vote-based and reserved yearly for leading Africans who are making positive impacts and promoting a favourable image of the continent.

Okonjo-Iweala polled over 60 percent of the 15,000 votes in the category at the close of the poll on 2nd of December 2022.

Forbes said, “The World Trade Organization head Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (No. 91 of 100) continue to play a crucial role in providing financial assistance and promoting global trade as the threat of a global recession rises.”

Recall that Okonjo-Iweala was recognized by another media platform, Time magazine as one of the world’s most influential people in 2021.

This would be Okonjo-Iweala’s 6th recognition in her career.

Okonjo-iweala reacted on Twitter, saying that she was excited by the awards she had received in her career.

“An honour and a privilege to be part of this list of a very distinguished group of women for the 6th time in my career, Congratulations to my other sisters. Let’s continue to show that good governance, good public policy and a people-centered approach to work matters,” he said.

Winners for the 11th edition of the award shall be presented with the honour on 16th of February 2023, at a ceremony scheduled to be held in Port Louis, Mauritius.

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