Determined to check the continued despoliation of the environment, the Federal Government yesterday said plans are underway to ban the use of plastic bags in the country.
Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadza Mailafia, who dropped the hint during the 2013 World Environment Day celebration in Abuja, said government would favour the use of paper bags in their place.
Mailafia, who said the ban would take effect from January 2014, also said the Federal Government was also considering banning the use of sachet water.
According to her, the move to ban the plastic bags are necessitated by the numerous health and environmental hazards associated with their use.
The minister noted that unlike the paper bags that could easily decompose, plastic bags are non-biogradable materials which could stay in the soil for years, contaminating water sources when washed into the rivers by the rain.
Relying on the Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO’s, statistics, the environment minister said one-third of global food production is wasted from farm to stock which is equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes of food annually; while an estimated 870 million people go hungry worldwide. She said more than 20, 000 children under the age of five also die daily from hunger.