The Lagos State government has announced a ban on the use and distribution of styrofoam and other single-use plastics, effective immediately. Styrofoam, often used to pack food for parties and restaurants, has been identified as a major source of pollution in the state, harming the environment and human health.
Tokunbo Wahab, the Lagos State commissioner for environment and water resources, explained in a statement that styrofoam and other single-use plastics are not only harmful to the environment, but also clog up the state’s drainage systems. These items, he stated, are non-biodegradable, create significant pollution and can lead to flooding and other negative impacts on the environment. According to Wahab, the indiscriminate use of these plastics is a major problem that must be addressed in order to protect the environment and ensure the safety of the state’s residents.
“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,”the commissioner stated.
Wahab also highlighted the health risks associated with the use of single-use plastics, as well as the many other negative impacts. He stressed that it is important to consider the long-term consequences of our actions and prioritise the collective well-being of society, even if it means making small sacrifices in the short term. He called on all residents of Lagos State to do their part to reduce the use of single-use plastics and find more sustainable alternatives.
The commissioner noted that the majority of waste generated in Lagos State is composed of styrofoam and other single-use plastics, and emphasised the need for strict enforcement of the ban. He directed the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) environmental task force to begin enforcing the ban immediately.