Institute Urges FG, States to Ban Single-use Plastics

The Africa Institute of Waste Management and Environmental Studies (AIWMES) has called on the federal and state governments to ban single-use plastics nationwide.

FAIWMES National President, Dr Suleyman Tanko, made this submission in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Kaduna.

He said the appeal came in light of Lagos State’s successful efforts to curb environmental degradation through similar measures.

According to him, a total ban on single-use plastics will be a more effective way to mitigate environmental damage; emphasising the importance of sustainable practices over economic measures.

“The environmental benefits of such a ban are manifold, including reduced flooding, pollution, wildlife protection, and promotion of eco-friendly waste management practice.”

He said that the institute was actively involved in promoting and implementing reusable and biodegradable materials as alternatives to single-use plastics.

Tanko said that the institute emphasised the importance of public campaigns to raise awareness about the harmful effects of plastic pollution and the advantages of sustainable practices.

The national president advocated for stricter laws governing the manufacture, use, and disposal of plastics.

He said there need to enforce sanctions for non-compliance, supporting recycling facilities, and even proposing an outright prohibition on single-use plastics.

Tanko underscored the benefits of proactive environmental conservation citing Rwanda, known for its successful enforcement of stringent environmental regulations.

“Rwanda’s commitment to environmental sustainability has resulted in improved cleanliness, reduced plastic pollution and heightened awareness of environmental stewardship.’’

He said that to learn from Rwanda implied a need for Nigeria and the ECOWAS region to prioritise eco-friendly alternatives, waste reduction and sustainable development.

“This may involve investments in green technologies, support for recycling programs, and a societal shift towards valuing environmental preservation,” he said.