The Lagos State government has banned the usage of styrofoam and other single-use plastics across the state with immediate effect.
According to Tokunbo Wahab, the state’s commissioner for environment and water resources, who made the announcement on his X account on Sunday, the decision was made to curb the harmful effects of single-use plastics on the environment.
Styrofoam packs, popularly known as “takeaway packs,” are commonly used for food packages in restaurants, homes, and events across the state.
Following the ban, BusinessDay has come up with four affordable and environmentally friendly alternatives to the banned “takeaway pack.”
Biodegradable and compostable materials
Biodegradable and compostable materials like moulded fibre, bamboo pulp, and cornstarch-based products offer a quick breakdown and can be composted at home or in industrial facilities.
Paper-based options, including corrugated cardboard, paperboard, and kraft paper, serve as a cost-effective and eco-friendly substitute, being recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable.
Natural materials like wood wool, shredded paper, and straw provide another sustainable choice for packaging. These materials are biodegradable, compostable, and can be sourced in an environmentally friendly manner.
Leaf and other plant-based materials
Leaves are one of the earliest means of packaging food and the method exists till today.
Even in high society functions, leaves occupy prominent positions especially in the southwestern part of Nigeria. The leaf is used to pack Ofada rice, Moi-moi, agidi and others.
Plastic containers, glass jars, and metal tins are examples of reusable packaging, which provides an eco-friendly option by allowing repeated use after washing, reducing waste and resulting in long-term cost savings.
Determining the most suitable and cost-effective alternative to Styrofoam depends on specific needs and budget considerations. Prioritising materials with a minimal environmental impact is crucial, encouraging the selection of sustainable and eco-friendly options for packaging solutions.