By Henry Oladele
A maritime expert, Dr Segun Musa, has faulted the Lagos State Government policy ban on the use of styrofoam in the state.
Musa, the Deputy National President, Air Logistics, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Musa who described styrofoam as a new economy called for a public enlightenment on the proper use of the product.
He described the ban of the product as myopic, stressing that “styrofoam is an economy on its own and people make livelihood from the production.”
He, therefore, urged the Lagos State Government to withdraw the ban.
Musa, who is also the Grand Patron of Nigeria Football Supporters’ Club, said the product comes in different packages, the one for food, television and refrigerator, among others.
According to him, the one for food constitutes less than five per cent of the whole styrofoam that comes into the state.
”The ban on styrofoam policy is myopic.
”The one for food packaging constitutes less than five per cent of the whole styrofoam that comes into Lagos State.
”We have the styrofoam for television, fridge and the likes, and all these find their way into the drainage.
”Educating the public is what the government needs because the use of styrofoam is an emerging economy on its own,” he said.
Musa explained that styrofoam could be compressed with a minimal temperature and pressure to form another packing material.
”You can drop it in a tank and pour petrol on it to dissolve it and turn it to gum. The usage of gum in Lagos State alone is a massive economy on its own.
“Styrofoam constitutes the same problem to the environment just as plastics, if the product is banned because of its chemical composition, then all plastics should be too.
”The same problem we have with plastic is the same we have with styrofoam, so if you want to ban styrofoam because of chemical composition then ban all plastics.
”When either of the two are subjected to heat because of the chemical substance used to build them, it will be reactive and that is why it will be injurious to health.
”It should not be used for anything hot, you can use it for something cold or warm but don’t subject it to hot food or microwave,” he said.
He advised the government to turn the styrofoam to an economy by training propkr on how to recycle it.
”For instance, look at tyres, it used to be a waste but some people came up with recycling tyres and now it is an essential commodity,” he said.
He urged government to withdraw the ban because people are making money from styrofoam to feed their families.
”You are not creating a new economy and you are destroying the one on ground, it is not done.
“Government does not know it all. It is expected that the private sector is knowledgeable,” he added. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Deborah Coker/Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma