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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Lagos orders drastic measures against manufacturers and distributors

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After banning the use and distribution of polystyrene and other single-use plastics, the Lagos State Government has ordered clampdown on all production companies and distribution points within the state.

This is to prevent further distribution of the prohibited products.

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The State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, in a statement personally signed on Sunday, directed the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) to immediately commence the implementation of prohibition.

Wahab said most drainage canals in the state were being clogged with Styrofoam daily due to its indiscriminate distribution and use, despite regular cleaning and evacuation of drains with huge state resources.

He reiterated that most of the garbage on major roads and markets, which LAWMA deals with daily, is composed of Styrofoam.

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He added that the State cannot sit back and watch the continued desecration of its environment, especially in a coastal city.

The commissioner explained that the state took the action, based on various enabling laws and regulations, such as the National Environment (Sanitation and Waste Control) Regulations, 2009, which was established under the NESREA Act that specifically prohibited and prohibited plastics from a single use in the country, but it has not been applied.

According to Mr. Wahab, other similar laws include the State Environmental Protection and Management Act 2017, which states in section 56 (I) (y): “prevent, stop or interrupt any activity or omission that may cause harm or has caused harm to human health or the environment.”

He advised producers, distributors and end users of polystyrene packaging to take the ban seriously and find alternatives, or risk heavy fines and other sanctions, including sealing of their facilities.

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He warned that they could also be made to bear the costs of daily cleaning of their produce from roads and drainage canals, which runs into tens of millions of naira per day.

READ ALSO: Lagos government bans use of Styrofoam and single-use plastics

“Our State cannot be held hostage to the economic interests of a few rich businessmen compared to the millions of Lagos residents who suffer the consequences of the indiscriminate dumping of single-use plastics and other types of waste,” he said.

Listing well-known consequences such as climate change, flooding and diseases such as cholera, Wahab advised consumers and residents to boycott polystyrene packaging and single-use plastics.

He urged them to imbibe the practice of using reusable food containers and water bottles for their food and drinks.

“The convenience of single-use plastic comes at a huge cost to society. “We must all make small sacrifices for our collective well-being,” he added.

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