reps hospitals
House of Representatives

Ban Styrofoam, Single-Use Plastics, Reps Urge FG

The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to ban the production, importation, distribution, and use of styrofoam and single-use plastics in Nigeria.

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

They urged the FG to direct the Consumer Protection Commission and other relevant agencies to monitor the quality of packages for foods and beverages, particularly in fast-moving consumer goods to ensure that global best practices are followed.

The resolutions reached on the ban followed the adoption of a motion titled, ‘Need to ban the use and distribution of styrofoam and single-use plastic across the country,” moved by the member representing Ilorin West/Asa Federal Constituency, Kwara State, Mr. Muktar Shagaya at a plenary session of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

While presenting the motion, the lawmaker noted that the provisions of Section 20 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), place 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.

Shagaya argued 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, among others.

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

“The House is 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.”

The lawmaker further noted 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.