The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) has charged residents on the dangers associated with plastic pollution on the environment with a call to ensure that plastics are properly disposed and recycled.
The Chairman, Board of LASCOPA, Mrs. Funmi Falana, made the call on Monday at a press briefing organised by the Agency as part of activities to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day, stating that plastics are one of the environmental hazards that have to be curtailed due to its potential to cause harm to the health of citizens.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration tagged “Tackling Plastic Pollution”, Mrs. Falana, stressed that the number of disposable plastic in the environment is increasing daily and if not checked, has a tendency to cause huge environmental degradation.
According to her, Lagos State is joining the rest of the World to commemorate the day with a view to enlightening residents on the dangers of plastic pollution and the need for sustainable consumption in order to protect the environment.
Her words: “If plastic pollution is not checked, there will be a time that the number of plastic wastes in the seas will be more than fishes. I, therefore, wish to enjoin all residents in the State to embrace the act of recycling and reusing plastics, especially now that some of the face shields, hand sanitisers and others used in the prevention of the transmission of COVID-19 are made of plastics”.
Falana averred that plastic pollution is one of the issues that affect consumers as they are entitled to a good environment, good health and good products as well as services, urging consumers who have issues with products or services rendered to seek redress by reporting to LASCOPA.
In his remarks, the General Manager of the Agency, Mr. Afolabi Solebo Esq., stated that the essence of Consumer Rights Day is to address issues bordering on the actual knowledge that a consumer should have while patronising various consumer products.
The General Manager explained that plastic pollution is the accumulation of waste plastics in an environment, thereby degrading the healthy standards of the habitats which include humans, animals and plants.
He noted that scientists have discovered that microplastics in over 140 marine species end up as food on our plates while a World Health Organisation (WHO) report of Y2018 indicated that the bottled water consumed every day contains 90 percent of microplastics.
Solebo, therefore, advocated the need to shop friendly by reducing plastic packages, disposing of water bottles in trash cans properly, changing the chemical composition of plastic cans to a biodegradable state, building more recycling facilities as well as improving public awareness on the dangers of plastic pollution.
He recalled that LASCOPA was established out of the growing desire of the State Government to ensure that the rights of consumers are protected and promoted, while also embarking on consumer education activities to ensure that residents are aware of their rights and avoid all forms of unwholesome products.
The General Manager urged residents to take advantage of the Agency’s free services by registering their complaints with LASCOPA at 2B, Soji Adepegba Close, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja or sending correspondence to the Agency’s e-mail addresses: email@example.com .ng and firstname.lastname@example.org.