TOXIC IMPACT OF PLASTIC WASTES ON MARINE LIFE OF WOJI AND NEW CALABAR RIVERS
Plastics are one of the most, widely, used materials in the world that, are broadly integrated into the daily lifestyle of people since they are used in almost all product areas. This study examined the resistivity and impact assessment of plastic wastes in Woji and New Calabar River. The objectives were to determine the physico-chemical properties of plastics; physico-chemical properties of water; toxic impact of plastic wastes on the aquatic life and assess the resistivity of different plastic wastes along the Woji and New Calabar Rivers. Standard Analytical Methods were used. Findings showed that the major type of plastic found in the study area (New Calabar and Woji Rivers) were Plastic bags; there is significant difference in the physical properties of plastics at the New Calabar and Woji River; most plastics collected from the Woji axis were combustible; No fish was found in the Woji River which was linked to the high level of industrial wastes in the River; Water quality parameters of the New Calabar River such as turbidity, conductivity, salinity, TDS, DO, BOD5, Nitrate and Phosphate varied significantly (p<0.05) when compared to the water quality parameters of Woji River; major impact of plastic wastes in this study were death, perforated gut, biochemical/cellular death and increased population size; measures of stopping plastic waste disposal with respect to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 includes prevention of plastic littering, improving waste collection, handling transfer stations and proper transportation, improve final disposal site, introduce plastic waste separation at source and increase plastic waste recovery and recycling. The study concludes that plastic wastes obtained from the study area are characterized by high resistivity values which is as a result of the nature of plastics found. It is therefore recommended amongst others that enforcement of actions should be in place to reduce illegal dumping and open burning of plastic waste at disposal sites.