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Lagos bans single use plastic, pet bottles

The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has banned the single use of plastic among its staff.

Unsorted plastic waste
Unsorted plastic waste

The Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Mrs Belinda Odeneye, decried the increasing rate of single use plastics, pet bottles, polystyrene and other non-biodegradable wastes in different parts of the state.

Odeneye said this in a statement issued after the official ceremony indicating the banning of single use plastic among staff of LASEPA, on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, in Ikeja, the state capital.

She said that there was the need for urgent steps to revert the trend, with the encouragement of reusable plastics or biodegradable materials.

Odeneye said that all hands must be on deck  to guarantee quality health for the citizenry, while also reducing the rate of some avoidable loss of lives caused by polluted environment.

She appreciated LASEPA for championing the advocacy on reusable plastics and for setting the pace for environmental sustainability for emulation by other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state government.

”The Ministry of Environment and Water Resources has a Plastic Waste Management Policy in place, we also have a recycling bank for plastic wastes within the premises, where people can exchange their plastic wastes for money.

”Also recently, the ministry held sanitation competition, where Surulere emerged the winner and were rewarded accordingly.

”So, we are not just advocating a cleaner environment through our policy on plastic waste management, but we have also put a reward system in place to encourage willful compliance,” Odeneye said.

She urged residents to be mindful of the health implications of their attitudes to the environment, as all unhealthy environmental attitudes had a vicious cycle effect on the lives of every residents.

On her part, the General Manager of LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, said that being the agency in charge of environmental protection, it was leading its talk with the unveiling of ban on single plastic use among staff.

Fasawe said  the agency was experimenting the feasibility of the ban before making recommendations to other government agencies to embrace the advocacy on reusable items and ban on single plastic use.

”Today, I will be handing over some dispensers, as well as some reusable items to all the departments and units, as my personal contribution to this campaign on ban of single use of plastic by LASEPA.

”Beyond giving out these items, the long-term goal is to ensure compliance by staff of this agency, because I want the ban on these items to be effective and I also want all the staff to become advocates of this initative in their respective places of residence.

”This is Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and we have to be proactive, we have seen that people are not walking the talk.

”There are lot of meetings and conventions where we talked about plastic pollution with different NGOs, but nothing or little has been done so far about the various recommendations.

”This is the reason why LASEPA as a front runner in terms of environmental protection decided to practice what we preach,” she said.

Fasawe said that the ban on single use plastic within LASEPA started in 2021 and the agency started sorting waste, pet bottles, paper waste and vegetal waste, hence, realised that the pet bottles were filling the dust bins faster than other waste items.

She said that in 2022, the agency would be focusing on air quality, in order to limit the effect of polluted air which was currently affecting the vulnerable age groups, both the elderly and babies.

”This year, we are going for air pollution, you must service your car as and when due, your generator must not emit smoke.

”Even for telecom sector masts, if they cannot use gas to power their masts, they will have to find a way to ensure that the waste oil is reused and reused and reused,” Fasawe said.

By Florence Onuegbu

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