In an unprecedented move, Lagos State in Nigeria has unveiled a sweeping prohibition on the utilization and dissemination of styrofoam and other disposable plastics, effective immediately.
The Commissioner overseeing the realm of Environmental Affairs and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, made this groundbreaking announcement on the 21st of January. The decision to enforce this ban stemmed from the dire ecological havoc wrought by single-use plastics, with a particular emphasis on the environmentally unfriendly Styrofoam.
Commissioner Wahab disclosed that the state’s drainage systems had been persistently obstructed by the unbridled distribution and usage of styrofoam, despite the routine cleaning and evacuation of these vital conduits. This was a matter of grave concern, as it inflicted severe environmental degradation.
To enforce this radical policy, Commissioner Wahab has issued direct orders to two governmental entities: the State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI). Their mandate is to promptly initiate the implementation of the embargo. They have been entrusted with the pivotal task of cracking down on all production enterprises and distribution points associated with styrofoam within the state, curtailing any further proliferation.
Furthermore, the commissioner has issued a stern warning to manufacturers, distributors, and consumers of styrofoam packaging materials, emphasizing the gravity of adhering to this ban. Failure to comply will result in hefty fines and other punitive measures, including the sealing of their facilities. Commissioner Wahab further cautioned that these entities could be held financially responsible for the daily cleanup of their products from roadways and drainage systems, a financial burden that could escalate into tens of millions of naira on a daily basis.
He emphatically stated, “Our state cannot be held hostage to the economic interests of a select few affluent business proprietors, especially when contrasted with the multitudes of Lagosians grappling with the ramifications of indiscriminate disposal of single-use plastics and various forms of refuse.”