In furtherance to the announcement of the immediate ban on Styrofoam plastics across the state, operatives of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (KAI) on Tuesday commenced sensitization of traders at markets and stores across the state on the new policy and the enforcement plan as directed by the state government.
Concise News reported that the Lagos State Government announced a ban on the usage and distribution of Styrofoam and other single-use plastics in the state with immediate effect.
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, who also shared a video showing the level of blockage at canal at Itire, in the Surulere Local Government Area of the state.
In a post on X, Wahab said, “Following the menace which single-use plastics especially non-biodegradable Styrofoam are causing on the environment, the Lagos State government (@followlasg) through the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (@LasgMOE) is hereby announcing a ban on the usage and distribution of Styrofoam and other single-use plastics in the State with immediate effect.”
He added that most drainage channels in the state are daily clogged up by Styrofoam and other plastics through its indiscriminate distribution and usage despite the regular cleaning and evacuation of the drains with humongous amounts.
He reiterated that the larger chunk of litterings across major roads and markets which LAWMA contends with daily is made up of styrofoams.
The Commissioner added that the State Government cannot fold its hands and watch the continued desecration of its environment especially for a coastal city.
Wahab has subsequently directed the State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Kick Against Indiscipline to immediately commence the implementation of the ban.
He asked two agencies to clamp down on all the production companies and distribution outlets for Styrofoam in the state to prevent further distribution.
Wahab explained that the State relied on enabling laws like the National Environmental (Sanitation and Waste Control) Regulation 2009 which was established pursuant to NESREA Act that prohibited and specifically ban single use plastic in the country but has not been enforced.
Other laws, according to Wahab, include the 2017 State Environmental Management and Protection Law which states under section 56(I) (y) “prevent, stop or discontinue any activity or omission, which is likely to cause harm or has caused harm to human health or the environment.
The Commissioner advised producers, distributors, and end-users of these styrofoam packs to take the ban seriously and find alternatives or risk heavy fines, and other penalties including sealing of their premises.
He warned that they could also be made to bear the costs of the daily cleanup of their products from our roads and drainage channels which runs into tens of millions of naira daily.