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Nigeria: Lagos state bans single-use plastics

In this photo taken Friday, Jan, 24. 2014, scavengers in Lagos, Nigeria sort out iron and plastic   -  
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Sunday Alamba/AP


Nigeria’s Lagos State has announced a ban on the usage and distribution of styrofoam and other single-use plastics with immediate effect.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab announced on Sunday, January 21 adding that the decision was reached, following the menace which the single-use plastics, especially the non-biodegradable Styrofoam, were causing on the environment.

He said most drainage channels in the state were daily clogged up by styrofoam through indiscriminate distribution and usage, despite the regular cleaning and evacuation of the drains.

Commissioner Wahab directed the State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, and the Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI, to immediately commence implementation of the ban.

He asked the two agencies to clamp down on all the production companies and distribution outlets for styrofoam in the state to prevent further distribution.

The commissioner advised producers, distributors, and end-users of styrofoam packs to take the ban seriously and find alternatives or risk heavy fines, and other penalties, including sealing of their premises.

He warned that they could also be made to bear the costs of the daily cleanup of their products from roads and drainage channels which runs into tens of millions of naira daily.

“Our state cannot be held hostage to the economic interests of a few wealthy business owners, compared to the millions of Lagosians suffering the consequences of indiscriminate dumping of single-use plastics and other types of waste,” he stated.

He advised consumers and residents to boycott styrofoam packs and single-use plastics and imbibe the practice of using reusable food containers and water bottles for their food and drinks.

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