House Urges FG to Ban Production, Importation, Distribution of Styrofoam, Plastics

Juliet Akoje in Abuja

The House of Representatives yesterday urged the federal government to ban the production, importation, distribution, and use of styrofoam and single-use plastics throughout Nigeria.

The lawmakers also urged the federal government to implement a phased approach to the ban by providing sufficient time for businesses and industries to transition to alternative eco-friendly materials and practices.

In addition, the lawmakers urged the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and other relevant agencies to monitor the quality of packaging of foods and beverages, particularly in fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs), ensuring global best practices are followed and all appropriate regulations guiding the whole process are adhered to.

These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the ‘Need to Ban the Use and Distribution of Styrofoam and Single Use Plastic Across the Country,’ moved by Hon. Muktar Shagaya at plenary yesterday.

Shagaya, while presenting the motion noted that the provisions of Section 20 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), placed a responsibility on the federal government to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations, and ensure the health and well-being of its citizens.

He further noted that the increasing use of styrofoam and single-use plastics in Nigeria poses significant environmental and public health risks, including pollution of waterways, soil, and air quality.

“Chemical found in styrofoam, is linked to health issues, such as cancer, vision and hearing loss, impaired memory and concentration, and nervous system effects.

“Aware that styrofoam is prohibited in Taiwan, Rwanda, England, and many other European countries, together with some towns and states in the United States. Currently, the product is illegal in Lagos and Abia States.

“Also aware that alternatives to styrofoam and single-use plastics, such as biodegradable materials, reusable containers, and recyclable packaging, can reduce environmental impact and public health risks,” he added.

Furthermore, he raised a concern that the increasing use of styrofoam and single-use plastics in Nigeria not only leads to increased plastic waste and environmental pollution but also poses a significant health risk.

“Cognisant of the need to address the environmental and public health crises posed by styrofoam and single-use plastics to safeguard the future of Nigeria’s natural resources, ecosystems, health, and the well-being of its citizens,” he added.

The House, however mandated its Committees on Healthcare Services, Environment, and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Related Articles