The government of the Nigerian state of Lagos has implemented an immediate ban on the use and distribution of polystyrene and other single-use plastics, citing significant environmental concerns. 

The announcement was made by the state’s Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab.  

According to the commissioner, the decision was taken in response to the severe environmental impact caused by the non-biodegradable and toxic nature of polystyrene.

Wahab pointed out that polystyrene is a major contributor to the clogging of drainage channels, despite ongoing cleaning efforts and substantial prevention expenditure. 

The commissioner added that this material also forms a large portion of the litter found on major roads and markets, which the Lagos Waste Management Authority deals with daily.  

In addition, the commissioner linked the use of these materials to climate change, flooding, and health issues such as cholera.  

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Wahab said: “Our state cannot be held hostage to the economic interests of a few wealthy business owners compared to the millions of Lagosians suffering the consequences of indiscriminate dumping of single-use plastics and other types of waste.”  

The ban will impact supermarkets, traders, and other users who will now need to transition to biodegradable or compostable alternatives such as paper bags. 

The commissioner urged consumers and residents to replace polystyrene packs and single-use plastics with reusable food containers and water bottles.