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LASG TO RAMP UP ENFORCEMENT ON BAN OF STYROFOAM FOOD PACKS 


… As Environment Commissioner Holds Meeting with REFSPAN

Lagos State Government on Wednesday stated that the government will ramp up enforcement of the ban on the usage and distribution of all forms of Styrofoam food packs and trays across the state.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab stated this during a meeting with the Restaurant and Food Services Proprietor Association of Nigeria (REFSPAN) in Alausa, saying that there is no going back on the total ban on the usage and distribution of all forms of Styrofoam food containers and trays while Single Use Plastics would be phased out gradually.

He said that the Ministry is set to increase the number of enforcement officers to effectively ramp up the enforcement, reiterating that they will go after all those that have the styrofoam food containers/trays in stock and confiscate them.

Wahab said the number of lives that have been lost through the effects of the use of styrofoam food packs, the destruction of the ecosystem and aquatic lives as well as the menace brought upon the environment cannot be quantified. 

He added that the lives of residents remain far more important than the economic value the association attaches to the continuous use of Styrofoam food packs and trays. 

“Delhi is renowned for its vibrant and diverse street food chain,  it is the capital of street food and Styrofoam food packs are not allowed there; So no going back on the total ban on the usage and distribution of Styrofoam food packs and trays in the State bearing in mind that this particular product is hazardous to health”, he said.

He explained that the State Government can no longer tolerate the clogging of drainage channels with used Styrofoam food packs, stressing that the cost of routine clearing of those packs from tertiary, secondary and primary drainages is very expensive. 

He said the Ministry would continue with the ongoing advocacy campaign in the print, electronic and social media to ensure that the message is passed to all residents on reasons they should embrace the ban by adopting multiple-use containers as the preferred alternative. 

The Commissioner, therefore,  appealed to the association to support the government’s effort to save the environment from the menace of Styrofoam. 

He added that all other Single Use Plastics (SUPs)  would be banned before the year runs out but there would be windows for deliberations with all stakeholders before they are phased out, saying that the representatives should endeavour to adequately communicate the information to all their members. 

A member of the Restaurant and Food Services Proprietor Association of Nigeria (REFSPAN) and Group Managing Director of SPAR Supermarket, Mr. Haresh Keswani said it became important for the Association to meet with the Commissioner for clarification on the ban, adding that the Association would continue to support the government to protect the environment from all forms of environmental infractions.

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