Jumoke Olasunkanmi, Ogbodo Ozioma Favour
The Lagos State Government has announced a ban on the usage and distribution of Styrofoam and other single-use plastics in the state with immediate effect.
The decision was reached following the environmental impact caused by single-use plastics, especially non-biodegradable Styrofoam.
The announcement, made by the state’s Commissioner of Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, has raised mixed reactions among Nigerians.
In an exclusive interview with the African Health Report (AHR), Tope Oyenuga, a small business owner, expressed concerns about the ban, stating that it would negatively impact those who rely on Styrofoam for their businesses.
She said: “This Styrofoam is the cheapest thing we are using to buy and sell, why all of a sudden do they want to ban it?” Oyenuga asked. “People that make a living from selling it as takeaway plates, what will they be doing now?
She suggested that the government should find better ways to manage plastic waste rather than imposing a sudden ban.
However, other Lagos residents welcomed the ban, citing the environmental benefits it would bring.
Mr Emmanuel Babalola expressed support for the ban, emphasising the need to move away from plastic and embrace more eco-friendly alternatives. Stating, “Banning Styrofoam and single-use plastics is a good idea,” he said. “I know it is a continent means of packaging food and so but the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
“This development shows that the government is taking climate and environmental challenges seriously.”
Olalekan Sunkanmi also supported the government’s decision, highlighting the negative impact of plastic waste on the environment, particularly during the rainy season.
He said, “You will find plastics everywhere on the streets constituting a nuisance, blocking waterways and even causing flooding during the rainy season so for me this is a good one.
“So, if the government says it is banning it, it is a good thing that everybody should support.”
The ban in Lagos State comes shortly after the federal government’s ban on single-use plastics in government agencies, indicating a growing awareness of the environmental challenges posed by plastic waste in Nigeria.
The move by the Lagos State Government reflects a commitment to addressing the environmental crisis and promoting sustainable practices. While the ban has sparked debate and concerns among some residents, others see it as a positive step towards reducing plastic pollution and protecting the environment.