In a decisive move aimed at combating environmental degradation, the Lagos State Government has officially prohibited the usage and distribution of Styrofoam and other single-use plastics across the state, effective immediately.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, personally announced the ban, citing the severe environmental impact of single-use plastics, particularly the non-biodegradable Styrofoam. He emphasized the continuous obstruction of drainage channels due to indiscriminate distribution and usage, despite regular cleaning efforts.
Highlighting that a substantial portion of litter on major roads and in markets comprises Styrofoams, Wahab expressed the government’s commitment to curbing environmental desecration, especially in a coastal city like Lagos.
Wahab directed the State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Kick Against Indiscipline to promptly initiate the ban’s implementation. Both agencies are instructed to crackdown on production companies and distribution outlets for Styrofoam to prevent further circulation.
The Commissioner justified the ban by referencing existing laws and regulations, including the National Environmental (Sanitation and Waste Control) Regulation 2009 and the 2017 State Environmental Management and Protection Law. These laws empower the state to halt activities causing harm to human health or the environment.
Producers, distributors, and users of Styrofoam packs are cautioned to adhere to the ban or face substantial fines, penalties, and possible premises closure. They may also bear the costs of daily cleanup from roads and drainage channels, amounting to millions of Naira.
Wahab emphasized the societal cost of single-use plastics, urging residents to opt for reusable food containers and water bottles. He stressed that the convenience of single-use plastics should not come at the expense of the collective well-being, citing the severe consequences such as climate change, flooding, and diseases like cholera.
As the ban takes effect, Lagosians are encouraged to adopt sustainable practices for the betterment of the environment and the overall health of the community.