Abolade, Health Practitioner Commends Government On Ban Of Styrofoam
Sanitarian Femi Abolade, an Environmental Health Practitioner and the President, Well-being of the Teesside University Student Union, has commended Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu and other state governments who have followed suit on the ban of sale and use of styrofoam by residents of the state.
Welcoming the development while fielding questions from our Correspondent on Tuesday, Sanitarian Abolade,commended the affected state governments for what looks like a daring decision saying the ban on Styrofoam in Nigeria is long overdue while all strata of government should ban it across the country.
This is because a flurry of reactions has greeted the announcement by Lagos State Government and others on the immediate ban which has been placed on the use of styrofoam and single-use plastics.
According to Abolade who described the banning as a welcome development towards the welfare of entire citizens of the Country and to avert flooding said, “Nigeria still lacks some very basic infrastructure such as good roads, drainage system, electricity among others and the little ones available gets degraded daily due to the proliferation of solid wastes around us. And a very big chunk of these solid wastes come from plastics. Styrofoam which is a kind of plastics are even worse because it is cheap and easily accessible, and worse of all, cannot be recycled!
“These things are the major culprits in blocked drains, just like the PET bottles. They are a major cause of flash flooding everywhere you go, and they don’t decompose. The other side is that when it is burnt, which is the other option people adopt, it is even worse. It constitutes a greater air pollution hazard due to what it contains. These are the issues with Styrofoam and plastics.
“It is a good omen, to be honest as reactions to laws like these are always negative at first but the people will get used to it and one of the hardest things to do is change, but it is also constant.
“I remember when seatbelts were made compulsory in Nigeria, people shouted and called the policy all sort of names. But today, it has come to stay, as people now see the benefits of using it. The same will be for the use of Styrofoam.
“But we are now in the Disposable age where everything had to be disposed immediately after use. This has affected every facet of our lives, too. This does not support environmental sustainability. Similarly, the ban on Styrofoam will help us see alternatives and adopt other means of food and product packaging as this should be a form of employment on its own” .
Speaking further, Abolade stated that consumers of single use plastics will adjust after the initial protests added that, “We were all using other products before we became addicted to disposables, but it can no longer be sustainable. It is not an attack against them, but a necessary action by the government to save the environment, and the little public infrastructure that we have”
Abolade who admonished government not to allow the initial reaction of people to make it change its mind said the banning was one of the decisions they have got correctly, and they should stick to it adding that, “the people need to be educated on the dangers of the use of Styrofoam and other plastic products both on the individual health and the environment as a whole while am calling on Environmental Health practitioners to go out to educate school children, consumers and producers of the products on the need to get them off the streets.
“Other state governments should follow suit and ban the use of Styrofoam in their states to help Environmental sustainability across board. We must take every necessary steps to save the environment from harm so we can have something for the generation behind us” Abolade concluded.