Nigeria Bans the Use of Sytrofoam and single use plastics

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Nigeria’s southwestern state of Lagos and the country’s economic hub has banned the use of styrofoam and single-use plastics to address environmental concerns and promote sustainability.

The move comes as part of a comprehensive effort to mitigate the adverse effects of plastic pollution on the environment and public health, said Tokunbo Wahab, the state’s commissioner for the environment and water resources, in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Sunday.

The ban takes immediate effect and will apply to the production, distribution, and use of styrofoam containers as well as single-use plastics such as bags and disposable cutlery.

“Following the menace of, (and the harmful effects) which single-use plastics, especially non-degradable 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,” read the terse statement.

No official comment has so far been made on penalties that will be imposed on businesses and individuals found violating the ban, with strict measures in place to deter the use of prohibited materials.

Local environmental protection experts and activists have hailed the development, describing it as “a positive step towards addressing the global plastic crisis.”

In a phone interview Tuesday, Niran Alebiosu, a Lagos-based environmentalist, told Xinhua that the ban on styrofoam and single-use plastics in Lagos reflects a growing awareness of the need for sustainable practices to combat environmental degradation.

“As Nigeria’s economic powerhouse takes this significant step, it sets an example for the entire nation and underscores the importance of collective efforts in preserving the planet for future generations,” Alebious said, noting the detrimental impact of plastic pollution on marine life, soil, and air quality has raised global concerns, prompting governments and communities to take proactive measures.

“The ban aligns with international best practices and demonstrates Lagos State’s commitment to achieving a cleaner and greener environment. Businesses and individuals are urged to adopt sustainable alternatives, such as biodegradable materials, to comply with the new regulations,” the environmental protection expert added.

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