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The House of Representatives has adopted a report on a Bill for an Act prohibiting the use, manufacturing and importation of plastic bags for commercial and household packaging.The report was adopted on Tuesday at the Committee of Whole presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Yussuf Lassun (APC-Osun). The bill aims to address the harmful effects of plastic bags on the oceans, rivers, lakes, forests, wildlife as well as human beings when passed into law.

The bill which has been passed by the Senate was presented to the house by Rep. Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno). The report recommended that retailers of goods shall offer paper bags to customers instead of plastic bags or be guilty of an offence when the bill is passed into law.

It also states that a person who manufacture plastic bags for the purpose of selling and a person who imports plastic bag for sale or carryout bag would be guilty of an offence. “Any body person found guilty shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of not exceeding N500,000 or a jail term not exceeding three years or both,” it recommended. The report says that any organisation found guilty shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not more than N5 million.

Monguno, while presenting the report said that the bill seeks to relieve pressure on landfills and waste management. Furthermore, he states that the use of plastic bags is rampant and that the bags are not bio degradable, which will affect arable land, water bodies and wildfire for years to come.

Lassun who presided over the meeting observed that the bill should create room for recycling of plastic bags.He said that the bill as it stands, when passed would mean that plastic bags would not be seen again in the country. The bill would now be listed for third reading on a later date after which it would be sent to the President for approval.

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REFERENCE: www.guardian.ng