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    Govt. set to increase tax on plastic bags, bottles

    The Senate has called for increased tax on the production of plastic bags and bottles as part of policy review to discourage the use of plastic bags and bottles in the country.
    The lawmakers cited environmental pollution and the accompanying outbreak of diseases like cholera, Lassa fever, malaria and others, the lawmakers as some of the issues.
    The resolution came through a motion prepared by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central) but read on her behalf by Senator Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River North) at the plenary on Wednesday.
    The lawmakers observed that indiscriminate disposal of used plastic bags, bottles, straws and other plastic derivatives has been partly responsible for flooding in many parts of the country.
    The upper chamber also urged the Federal Government to increase funding for the environment and environmental issues, with the enactment and enforcement of legislation on adequate waste disposal and recycling system in the country.
    It also sought the participation of all the states in the creation and review of policies, with the view to shedding light on the nation’s environmental issues, as well as the introduction of eco-friendly refuse bags in the country.
    The lawmakers called on the Federal Ministry of Environment and relevant agencies to ensure sensitization, particularly of the younger population on environmental issues.
    Through the motion, the senators were informed that several countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and others have introduced measures like increase in tax payable on single use bags and plastics.
    Nine other African countries, including Kenya and Rwanda were also identified as some of the countries that have introduced a ban on production, sale and importation of plastic bags.
    In his remarks the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki said the government still has a lot to do in ensuring that the environment remained safe and better for the health of the citizenry.

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