In view of the increasing prevalence of plastic waste and its negative effect on the environment in recent years, the Lagos State Government is set to put in place policy guidelines for plastic utility to ensure sustainable management of plastic waste.
The policy guidelines will also be backed up with appropriate legal framework to be established through an enabling law.
According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, the Government will also put in place a strategy for identifying and disseminating sustainable plastic waste management knowledge to the public.
Continuing, he also said the strategy would disseminate plastic waste management knowledge to others, including stakeholders in user-friendly formats and also incorporate sustainable plastic waste management knowledge into government implemented public awareness initiatives.
Tunji Bello stressed that plastic waste materials make up a significant proportion of solid wastes and litter in Lagos State, adding that it has become a highly visible part of the waste stream (PET, Styrofoam and nylon commonly being used for water & beverages, take away plates & cups, carrier bags and others).
According to him, this development is posing environmental challenges ranging from Ecosystems degradation, drainage clogging & flooding, lagoon & ocean debris with consistent harm to human beings, resulting in high socio-economic impacts on the State.
He said that effective plastic waste management is fundamental to delivery of the State government’s priority transformational agenda as laid down in Lagos State Development Plan (LSDP) because it is a resource that can be managed to achieve economic, social and environmental benefits.
He also added that sustainable plastic waste management will create value from the waste stream and formalize the waste-pickers’ sector to improve livelihoods and reduce the pressure on landfill, saying that it will improve the situation of the State’s drainage channels and reduce plastic pollution in the marine environment.
Bello identified the cause of the menace, as poor management of plastic waste that enters the environment, through open dumping, open burning, and disposal in waterways.
He also said that there would be state guidelines for plastic utility to ensure sustainable management of plastic waste, with appropriate legal framework, established through a law with provisions for the continuous implementation of the policy.
Bello further said, government will also put in place a strategy for identifying and disseminating sustainable plastic waste management knowledge to the public and other stakeholders in user-friendly formats.
The State will also incorporate sustainable plastic waste management knowledge into government implemented public awareness initiatives, Bello explained.
He stated further that the policy will move the State towards realization of the Zero Waste Principle, whereby waste generation is minimized or prevented.
Oduh Jennifer Onyinye
INFORMATION OFFICER II