Reps Move To Ban Styrofoam, Others In Nigeria

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to ban the production, importation, distribution, and use of styrofoam and single-use plastics throughout Nigeria. Additionally, it proposed implementing a phased approach to the ban, allowing sufficient time for businesses and industries to transition to alternative eco-friendly materials and practices.

In response to this, the lawmakers also called upon the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and other relevant agencies to oversee the quality of packaging for foods and beverages, especially in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), ensuring adherence to global best practices and relevant regulations.

These resolutions were made following the adoption of a motion on the necessity to ban the use and distribution of styrofoam and single-use plastic across the country. The motion was put forth by Hon. Muktar Shagaya during a plenary session on Wednesday.

Shagaya emphasized that Section 20 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), places a responsibility on the Federal Government to protect and enhance the environment for both present and future generations, as well as to 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.

“Chemicals found in styrofoam, are 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”.

“Alternatives to styrofoam and single-use plastics, such as biodegradable materials, reusable containers, and recyclable packaging, can reduce environmental impact and public health risks”.

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.

“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.”

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