The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), a renowned non-governmental organization dedicated to environmental protection, has called on the federal government to immediately ban Styrofoam plates, utensils in Nigeria.
According to HEDA, the call is aimed at combating environmental degradation and promoting sustainable practices.
In a statement released by HEDA’s Executive Secretary, Sulaimon Arigbabu, on the occasion of World Environmental Day with the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution,” the organization emphasized the detrimental impact of single-use Styrofoam plates, cups and similar utensils on the environment. It highlighted how the material’s durability and non-biodegradable nature significantly contribute to environmental pollution and pose a threat to human health.
Arigbabu stressed the importance of Nigeria taking decisive action against Styrofoam plates and utensils usage in order to protect the environment and secure a sustainable future. Banning Styrofoam would not only reduce pollution but also foster the development of eco-friendly alternatives, promote a circular economy, and create new job opportunities in the green sector.
One of the key concerns highlighted by Arigbabu is the fact that Styrofoam takes hundreds of years to decompose, leading to clogged waterways, rivers, and drainage systems, which in turn causes flooding and water pollution. Marine life, particularly aquatic animals, suffer the consequences of ingesting or becoming entangled in Styrofoam debris, resulting in injury, starvation, and death.
In addition to the call for a Styrofoam ban, Arigbabu emphasized the need for aggressive enforcement of sanitation rules and a behavioral change campaign to address the irresponsible disposal of plastics, adding that the culture of using disposable Styrofoam plates have turned markets, garages, etc, into major sources of waste nuisance.