Oyo State House of Assembly has called on the state government to place a ban on the use of Styrofoam for food service, storage, and other related purposes in the state.
The state legislature made the call on Thursday February 8, during it’s plenary sitting following a motion brought before the House by Honourable Gabriel Babajide representing Ibadan North II and cosponsored by Leader of the Majority, Hon. Sanjo Adedoyin.
The motion, which sought synergy among the Ministries of Health, Environment and Natural as well as other relevant MDAs, stressed the need for the call for total ban on styrofoam in the state.
According to the motion, the aim was to prevent the public from being victims of all forms of health hazards associated with the use of styrofoam on the people and the environment.
Recall that Lagos State Government had earlier in January, 2024 announced a ban on the usage and distribution of styrofoam and other single-use plastics in the State with immediate effect.
The ban by the Lagos state government was contained in a statement signed by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, following the menace that single-use plastics, especially the non-biodegradable styrofoam, were causing on the environment.
Presenting the motion, Babajide noted that research carried out by his office has revealed that it takes about hundreds of years before styrofoam degrades in the soil after disposal and as such poised great risk on environmental health.
According to Babajide’s motion, styrofoam is common in Africa, and Nigeria, due to its population and availability of market.
“Mr. Speaker sir, the presence of styrofoam in our marketplaces, restaurants, streets, and even in dranage systems is visible to the blind.
“Observe that just three (3) weeks ago the Lagos State Government banned the total use of single-use plastic known as styrofoam. The Government of Abia State has also ordered the same ban on styrofoam.
“These are proactive measures to phase out the total use of the deadly substance. It is, however, very important as a matter of utmost urgency, to stop the use of styrofoam in Oyo State, as it is hazardous to both the environment and human beings.
“Further observes that a number of states and cities in America have banned single-use plastic items, like styrofoam, in an effort to cut down on waste and encourage the use of biodegradable or reusable items.” Babajide said.
Reacting to the motion, Abiodun Babalola highlighted implications of the use of Styrofoams to both human and aquatic environment stressing the need for state government to take urgent steps to address the situation before it snowballed.
In his brief remarks, Speaker of the House, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin commended mover of the motion and all contributions made by lawmakers, and aligned with their position on the need to take drastic steps to urgently address the matter.
The House however, directed the Ministry of Information and Orientation as well as other information dissemination organs of government to organize enlightenment campaigns and programs to sensitize the public on the danger of using styrofoam.