Toluwalase Abiona' Story
Toluwalase grew up in Lawanson, an area between Mushin and Surulere Local Government, known for its constant environmental pollution. Not only that, the people have little to no knowledge about the effect of such pollution on their health or the environment itself, nor are they aware of how to eradicate it.
Things began to take a new form when Toluwalase came in contact with some notable persons who came to the area to sensitize people about ‘environmental sustainability, during the Covid-19 pandemic. After then, She participated in the AY4E Masterclass series where she acquired in-depth knowledge of the effects of plastic pollution on the environment and the possible solutions. This brought her to the reality that a lot of young people are not aware of the concept of ‘Environmental Sustainability,’ thus she braced herself to spread the information and knowledge in her school and community.
On an occasion, people criticized and reprimanded Tolu and her cousins for picking up discarded plastic wastes on the street, saying they were mad. Funnily, Tolu saw that situation as an avenue to explain to them about plastic pollution and this yielded some desired changes. Toluwalase’s neighbors are evidently showing the result of this sensitization as they now separate their used plastics for recycling rather than trashing them in the old manner.
Toluwalase is now a SWEEP volunteer. She became an Ocean Hero and currently has a community called Zero plastic straw community(ZPSC) that was launched on 11th Oct 2021. A community that frowns against the trashing of plastic straws and creates awareness about plastic pollution in Nigeria. ZPSC has 40 members and 50 volunteers and has enlightened over 100 people on the effect and solutions to plastic pollution. Toluwalase became the change she wanted to see.