The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), has held a stakeholders parley with producers, distributors and consumers of plastic bottled drinks on ways to mitigate the health effects of exposing drinks in plastic bottles to sunlight.
Addressing participants at the forum tagged: “Exposure of Plastic Bottle Drinks to Sunlight: Effects on Consumers Health”, and held in Alausa Ikeja, the Board Chairman of LASCOPA, Mrs. Funmi Falana, in her goodwill message said the parley would afford the participants the opportunity to deliberate and make informed decisions on healthy consumption, especially with bottled drinks.
In his contribution, the General Manager, Mr. Afolabi Solebo Esq, noted that the forum became necessary to awaken the consciousness of producers of bottled drinks to their responsibilities and good manufacturing practices as well as sensitise consumers of the dangers inherent in consistent exposure of plastic and pet bottled drinks to sunlight.
He stated that plastic bottles, irrespective of the materials used in producing them, portend great danger to the environment due to poor biodegradability.
His words: “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”.
Solebo further stated that 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, hence manufacturers need to comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as well as other relevant laws and regulations governing product manufacturing, storage and distribution.
While acknowledging that the amounts of the chemicals are little, the General Manager warned consumers to avoid consuming contents of plastic containers left in extreme heat.
He further reiterated the commitment of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to consumer protection as enshrined in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, noting that the success of government rests squarely on the cooperation of all and sundry.
Nasiru Abdullahi Argungu of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in a presentation at the event, noted that there are established facts about the safety of using plastic packaging materials for water and beverages but the safety can only be guaranteed when proper handling and storage under recommended conditions are strictly observed.
He stated that though handling of water and beverages in Nigeria is a major challenge 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.