Authorities in Lagos State have banned the use and distribution of styrofoam — the material used to make the ‘take away’ plate, popular for packing food at parties and from restaurants — and other single use plastics in the state with immediate effect.
The ban was announced in a statement by Tokunbo Wahab, the state’s commissioner for environment and water resources.
According to Wahab, styrofoam and other single use platics have become a monster of some sort to the environment especially because the are non biodegradable.
He noted that these plastics have also been found blocking drainages in the state because of their indiscriminate use in the state.
“Our state cannot be held hostage to the economic interests of a few wealthy business owners compared to the millions of Lagosians suffering the consequences of indiscriminate dumping of single use plastics and other types of waste,” Wahab noted in the statement.
The commissioner pointed to diseases and other inconveniences caused by the use of such plastic materials. He encouraged the use of containers that can be reused over and over again, asking residents of the state to consider it a sacrifice to make to avoid bigger problems.
“The convenience of single use plastic comes at a huge cost to the society. We must all make small sacrifices for our collective well-being,” the commissioner said.
After pointing out that the the largest part of waste that the state’s waste managers have to deal with is styrofoam and other such plastics, he called for arrest of anyone found breaking the law regarding the ban.
He has subsequently directed LAWMA and the Kick Against Indiscipline to immediately commence the implementation of the ban.
He asked two agencies, Lagos Waste Management Authority and Kick Against Indiscipline, to clamp down on all the production companies and distribution outlets for Styrofoam in the state to prevent further distribution.