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Minister Seeks Ban On Use Of Plastic Bags

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The minister of environment, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, has sought for appropriate regulations to ban the use of plastic bags because plastic pollution impairs the environment .

To this end, he emphasised the need to convert polytene bags to paper bags as it’s done in Ghana, Niger Republic, Rwanda and Kenya to guard against environmental degradation.

He stated this in Abuja yesterday during his familiarisation visit to the headquarters of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

Zarma said though investors in polythene bags would lament loss of investment in the sector that its better to put in place appropriate regulations to ban the use of polythene bags.

He pointed out that polythene bags has direct impact on human lives and the environment, adding that farming, livestocks and aquatic lives have been degraded due to consumption of polythene bags.

The minister stated that NESREA’s role was key to environmental management, just as he pledged to support the agency in the area of enforcement.

Responding, the director-general of NESREA, Dr Lawrence Anukam, said that the United Nations was laying major emphasis on the agency’s programme called ‘Circular Economy’ which would focus on e-waste.

He maintained that the idea of circular economy was to fast track the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programme, adding that multinational companies like MTN has already keyed into the programme.

He emphasised that the essence of Global Environment Facility (GEF) programmme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was to address environmental problems in Nigeria and beyond.

The DG noted that noise from generators could make people mad which was why the agency initiated the National Generator Emission Control Programme (NGECP).

He noted that the essence of NGECP was to guarantee cleaner environment and contribute to economic growth of the country, adding that Nigeria was considering achieving 30 per cent of energy efficiency in industries, homes, businesses, vehicles and renewable energy.

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