Some environmentalists have lauded the recent ban of single-use plastic and styrofoam by the Lagos State Government, stating that the ban was long overdue.
The environmentalists said this in different interviews on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, in Lagos.
Lagos State Government on Sunday announced a ban on the usage and distribution of styrofoam and other single-use plastics across the state.
Mr Gafar Odubote, the Network Coordinator, Let’s Do It World Africa Region, an environmental non-profit organisation, said the ban was a great move to end plastic pollution.
“The plastic ban is a good move by Lagos State Government. It will help reduce plastic pollution. The ban is long overdue, but I think it came at the right time.
“If we consider the menace single-use plastic pollution, styrofoam, plastic spoons, bags, and disposable cups pose to the environment, the ban is sending a strong message to all and sundry.
“A good quality of Lagos State Government is the enforcement of its policies. I believe the ban will be fully enforced with the deployment of their task forces to implement the policies.
“There may also be clamp down of plastic manufacturing companies/factories. I believe the state is capable of implementing this policy to the fullest.
“It is a big win for the environment because the clamour for the ban of single use plastic has been ongoing. This ban should be translated nationally, the Federal Ministry of Environment should take this up.
“We must all ensure that this ban is effective in our fight against plastic pollution. We should start adopting the use of plastic alternatives,” Odubote said.
On his part, Mr Taiwo Adewole, Director, Recycle Points NG, called for a change of attitude to single-use plastic and styrofoam, as he called for the adoption of alternatives.
“The ban on single-use plastic and styrofoam is long overdue. The government has been lenient enough and has extended the carrot approach to these companies, but now is the time for the stick approach.
“When the government came up with the extended producer responsibility policy on plastic, they gave all manufacturers opportunities to come up with Producer Responsible Organisation (PRO) and that is how feedback for the ban came up.
“Companies like Coca-Cola, Nigerian Breweries and others came together to recover plastic items in circulation.
“However, companies producing styrofoam never bothered to be part the policy making decisions.
“Styrofoam is littered everywhere and it is only one or two companies in Lagos that collect and recycle them,” Adewole said.
Also, Mr Olumide Idowu, the Founder, ICCDI Africa, also restated the need to enforce the ban and the cooperation of Nigerians to the ban.
“The ban of single-use plastics and styrofoam by the Lagos State Government is a welcome development in the fight against plastic pollution.
“However, there should be measures being put in place for those that are into the business to transition.
“The government should remember that there is going to be a gap, traders in plastics will actually lose a lot of investment.
“The government should liaise with stakeholders in the trade of plastic, maybe they should set up a meeting with them on the sustainability of the plastic ban.
“The question should be asked if there is anything like a commitment from the government for an alternative to plastic.
If there is, then there should be a push to get people to invest in the alternatives. The government should not just take a decision without stakeholders involvement,” Idowu said.