• Friday, February 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Styrofoam ‘takeaway’: Food sellers, others get three weeks grace

styrofoam hawker (1)

The Lagos State government has postponed the enforcement of the ban on styrofoam by three weeks, offering producers and distributors a “moratorium”.

Tokunbo Wahab, the Lagos State commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, made this known during a consultative meeting between the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and representatives of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Restaurant and Food Services Proprietor Association of Nigeria (REFSPAN) at the state’s secretariat on Thursday.

Wahab said the government is resolute on banning and using styrofoam in the State, describing the havoc caused by single-use plastics as “unimaginable”.

“The Lagos State government has been having different conversations with manufacturers on ways to end the use of single-use plastics in the State despite the pronouncement of the ban over 3 years ago, but the government has decided to take a bold step to stop the use, particularly styrofoam”, he said.

The commissioner said indiscriminate usage of styrofoams wreaks havoc and destruction on the state, potentially posing environmental concerns, especially during and after the rainy season.

Wahab said the government would not have waded into the matter should the producers had been more responsible to respect the law.

“The number of lives that have been lost through the effect of the use of styrofoam, the destruction of the ecosystem and aquatic lives as well as the menace brought upon the environment cannot be quantified.

“As a responsible government, the lives of the residents are far more important than the profit producers set to make for the continuous production of styrofoam”, Wahab maintained.

The Lagos State government had announced a ban on the use of styrofoam on Sunday with immediate effect. The government cited the huge environmental pollution in the state created by its indiscriminate disposal as the reasons for the ban.