The Governor of Lagos State Government has announced a three-week extension before enforcing the ban on styrofoam and other single-use plastics. Tokunbo Wahab, the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, communicated this decision in a statement released through his official handle on Thursday, January 25.
Wahab emphasized the state’s commitment to the well-being of its residents over the profits derived from the production of styrofoam. “As a responsible government, the lives of the residents are far more important than the profit producers set to make from the continuous production of styrofoam,” he stated.
The immediate ban on styrofoam and other single-use plastics was initially announced by the state government on January 21, citing environmental and health concerns. According to Wahab, these products have become a menace to the ecosystem, particularly during the rainy season.
Styrofoam, made from styrene, a petroleum-based product, is commonly used for manufacturing food containers. In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified styrene as a probable carcinogen, indicating an increased risk of cancer associated with its use.
Wahab affirmed the state’s resolution to implement the ban, despite previous prohibitions on styrofoam usage in Lagos. He stressed the extensive damage caused to public utilities by single-use plastics, particularly during and after the rainy season. The negative impact of styrofoam on lives, the ecosystem, and aquatic life, as well as the general environmental menace, were also noted by the commissioner.