Lagos State Declares War on Styrofoam and Single-Use Plastics

The Lagos State government, led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a ban on the use and distribution of styrofoam and other single-use plastics across the state. The ban takes effect immediately, according to a statement by the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, on his X account on Sunday.

Single-use plastics are products that are used only once or for a short time before being thrown away. They include items such as plastic bags, bottles, straws, cups, and cutlery. Styrofoam, also known as polystyrene foam, is a type of single-use plastic that is often used for insulation in buildings and packaging in food and beverage industries.

The ban aims to address the environmental and health hazards posed by these products, which are not biodegradable and often end up in landfills, waterways, and oceans. They can cause pollution, flooding, wildlife harm, and human diseases. Wahab said the ban is necessary as the use of single-use plastics has become a major challenge in Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous and commercial city.

“Following the menace which single-use plastics, especially non-biodegradable Styrofoam, are causing on the environment, the Lagos State government through the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources is hereby announcing a ban on the usage and distribution of Styrofoam and other single-use plastics in the State with immediate effect,” Wahab wrote.

Lagos, which is home to over 20 million people, has been struggling with the problem of waste management and drainage blockage caused by single-use plastics and styrofoam products. The ban is expected to reduce the amount of waste generated and disposed of in the state, and to promote the adoption of reusable and eco-friendly alternatives.

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