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BAN ON USAGE OF STYROFOAM CONTAINERS WAS TO PROTECT ENVIRONMENT – LASG

The Lagos State Government on Monday said that the recent ban on the usage of Styrofoam was borne out of the Government’s Commitment to protect the environment and the well-being of the good people of the State.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab made this known at the Nigeria Plastic Solution Activity Launch held at the Landmark Conference Centre, Victoria Island, adding that it was an inevitable decision that is already yielding positive results.

According to him, “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 said one of the most pressing issues affecting the environment and planet is plastic pollution and Lagos as a passionate steward of the environment is desirous to join millions of others to confront the challenges of plastic pollution and attendant adverse impacts on the Environment and Public health and lining up to be counted.

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. 

He recalled that the National Council on Environment (the highest policy-making body on 
Environment) at the 15th Session in Year 2021 and the 17th Session held in Year 2024 considered and approved the ban on Styrofoam and all other Single Use Plastics (SUPs). 

He added that this position vindicates the Lagos State Government on the decision to ban Styrofoam this year. 

He explained that in a densely populated city like Lagos, the presence of plastic waste has brought about suffocation of the environment, endangering aquatic ecosystems and threatening human health daily.

He said 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.

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

He charged everyone to always remember that the fight against plastic pollution is not a sprint but a marathon, adding that it will require patience, perseverance and a steadfast commitment to the shared goals. 

He said to facilitate a smooth transition from a linear to a circular economy, the State government through the Ministry of Environment, has developed a Plastic Waste Management Policy that will ensure an effective regulation and bring an end to the Plastic Waste menace.

He emphasised that residents cannot fold their arms and leave the solutions to posterity, adding that everyone must seize the initiative to chart a new course which ensures plastic waste no longer constitutes a scourge but a testament to our resilience and innovation.

Wahab maintained that we must demand accountability and hold ourselves, the industries and the government accountable for the plastic waste produced and the environmental damage it causes.

He expressed appreciation to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Coca-Cola Foundation and TechnoServe for their dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to an environment free from the scourge of plastic pollution. 

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