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Why We Decided To Ban Styrofoam In Lagos – Commissioner




Lagos State government has said that it banned the use of styrofoam in the state to protect the environment and the people’s wellbeing.

Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, restated this at the Nigeria Plastic Solution activity launch at the Landmark Conference Centre, Victoria Island, yesterday.

He explained that it was an inevitable decision that is already yielding positive results.

“In the words of the Canadian Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, we won’t ban our way out of plastic pollution, we won’t recycle our way out of plastic pollution, and we won’t reuse our way out of plastic pollution. We need to do a better job of all these things for different types of plastics,” he noted.

Wahab lamented that one of the most pressing issues affecting the environment and planet is plastic pollution.

He stressed that plastic pollution is not just an environmental issue, ‘it has also become a social, health and economic issue that requires the collective commitment of everyone who is sincere about protecting the planet’.

According to him, “The National Council on Environment (the highest policy making body on Environment), at the 15th Session in Year 2021 and the 17th session in Year 2024, considered and approved the ban on Styrofoam and all other Single Use Plastics (SUPs). This position clearly vindicates the Lagos State government on the decision to ban Styrofoam this year.

“In a densely populated city like Lagos, the presence of plastic waste has brought suffocated the environment, endangered the aquatic ecosystem and daily threatens human health. The solutions to plastic pollution are as diverse as the problem itself, and require a multi-faceted approach that engages government, businesses, communities and individuals alike.

“It is not enough to simply recycle or clean up the mess; the root causes of plastic pollution must be addressed and all must fundamentally rethink the way these plastics are produced, consumed and disposed.

“We all must remember that the fight against plastic pollution is not a sprint but a marathon, which requires patience, perseverance and a steadfast commitment to the shared goals.

“Our policy and advocacy efforts present a paradigm shift on plastic waste. We can no longer view it as a disposable commodity; rather, it must be regarded as resource demanding responsible stewardship. We cannot shy away from this responsibility; we must confront it head-on with resolve and determination.”

The commissioner said to facilitate a smooth transition from a linear to a circular economy, the government has developed a Plastic Waste Management Policy that will ensure an effective regulation and end the plastic waste menace.