L-R: Mr. Afolabi Solebo Esq, General Manager of LASCOPA; Mrs. Funmi Falana, Board Chairman; Mrs. Arinola Momoh-Ayokanmbi, Board Secretary of LASCOPA; and Mrs. Folashade Ashaye, Head of Consumer Education Department of the agency, at the stakeholders’ parley in Ikeja, Lagos Photo: LASG

LASCOPA sensitises consumers on effects of exposing plastic bottled drinks to sunlight

*The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency holds a stakeholders’ parley with manufacturers, producers, product distributors, consumers, and others, stressing that plastic bottles portend a great danger to human health and the environment because of poor biodegradability

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of the practical ways to alleviate the harmful health implications of exposing drinks in plastic bottles to sunlight in the Centre of Excellence, the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), has held a stakeholders’ parley with manufacturers or producers, distributors and consumers of plastic bottled drinks.

ConsumerConnect reports Mrs. Funmi Falana, Board Chairman of LASCOPA, in her goodwill message while addressing the participants in the forum tagged: “Exposure of Plastic Bottle Drinks to Sunlight: Effects on Consumers Health”, in Alausa Ikeja, in Lagos, said the parley would afford the participants the opportunity to deliberate and make informed decisions on healthy consumption, especially with bottled drinks.

Mr. Afolabi Solebo Esq, General Manager of LASCOPA, in his contribution to discussions at the parley, also noted that the forum became necessary in order to “awaken the consciousness of producers of bottled drinks to their responsibilities and good manufacturing practices as well as sensitise consumers” on the dangers inherent in consistent exposure of plastic and pet bottled drinks to sunlight in the state.

Solebo said that plastic bottles, irrespective of the materials used in producing them, portend great danger to the environment due to poor biodegradability.

The LASCOPA General Manager stated: “These plastic bottles are detrimental to health as most plastic items release a tiny amount of chemicals into the beverages or food they contain.

“Therefore, as temperature and time increases, the chemical bonds in the plastic increasingly break down and chemicals are more likely to leach, thereby entering into the body system”.

According to him, the condition of storage and distribution of bottled products as related to temperature, time or duration have an impact on the final quality of products.

Solebo further noted that manufacturers need to comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as well as other relevant laws and regulations governing product manufacturing, storage and distribution.

The General Manager, therefore, warned consumers to avoid consuming contents of plastic containers left in extreme heat.

The LASCOPA Chief also restated Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s to consumer protection in Lagos State, as enshrined in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.

The success of the government rests squarely on the cooperation of all and sundry, said he.

In his presentation on the occasion, Nasiru Abdullahi Argungu of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), disclosed there are established facts about the safety of using plastic packaging materials for water and beverages.

Argungu, however, said that safety can only be guaranteed when proper handling and storage under recommended conditions are strictly observed by the stakeholders in the beverages value chain.

The NAFDAC representative observed though handling of water and beverages is a major challenge in the country due to the prevailing hot weather, consumers are strongly advised to store bottled water and all other beverages in plastic containers at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and away from solvents and chemicals, such as gasoline, paint thinner, household cleaners and dry-cleaning chemicals.

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