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NAFDAC Enforces Ban on Sachet Alcohol Over Health and Environmental Concerns

In a bid to address health and environmental risks associated with sachet alcohol consumption, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has officially banned the production and sale of alcoholic drinks in sachets.

The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this announcement during a press conference held on Monday, February 5, 2024, in Abuja.

Prof. Adeyeye said the decision to ban sachet alcohol was driven by compelling health and environmental reasons.
She emphasized that the agency had given manufacturers a window period to sell off their existing stock of alcoholic drinks in sachets, which expired on January 31, 2024.

Following the expiration of this grace period, NAFDAC commenced nationwide enforcement actions on February 1, 2024, to ensure compliance with the new policy.

“This situation is of course not acceptable, and the agency views this as flagrant disobedience to the laws of Nigeria. NAFDAC views this matter seriously and will engage all statutory means, which may include prosecution, to deal with the matter.

“I want to use this medium to ask all holders of alcohol in sachets, PET and glass bottles, empty sachets, PET bottles, empty glass bottles, and other packaging materials of these banned products to immediately report to the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC for hand-over of same to NAFDAC for destruction,” she said.

Prof Adeyeye maintained that the ban is part of NAFDAC’s broader efforts to safeguard public health and protect the environment from the adverse effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption and waste disposal.

Meanwhile, environmentalists believe that the emergence of alcoholic drinks dispensed in sachets is a growing environmental hazard, joining items like styrofoam packs and single-use plastics in polluting the environment and blocking drainage channels.

They also expressed concern over the indiscriminate disposal of alcoholic beverages sachets and plastic bottles.
It would be recalled that a Brand Audit and clean-up exercise conducted on November 7, 2023, by the Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev) Nigeria in collaboration with Waste Pickers of Lagos (ASWOL) and Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) identified alcoholic drinks dispensed in sachets as a growing environmental hazard, contributing to pollution.

President of ASWOL, Mr Friday Oku, emphasised that waste generated from multi-layered plastics (MLPs) is increasingly becoming a menace, due to the limited recycling value attached to the plastics.

The brand audit demands that top polluting fast-moving consumer goods corporations reveal the full extent of their plastic footprint, reduce it significantly by setting and implementing ambitious targets, and, most importantly, redesign their packaging materials to be reusable or plastic-free.

In a related development, NAFDAC has called for the stoppage of the production of alcohol in sachets and pet bottles of less than 200ml by distillers.

Mr Kazeem Adeniran, Assistant Chief Regulator Officer, Investigation and Enforcement Department, NAFDAC, Lagos, made the call at a two-day enforcement exercise on Monday in Ota, Ogun State.

Adeniran said that his call was in line with the agreement reached by a tripartite committee set up in 2018.
He said that part of the agreement was that distillers, under the Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN), should stop the production of alcohol in sachets and pet bottles of less than 200ml with effect from Jan. 31.

Adeniran said that the five-year grace was given to phase out the product, adding that the enforcement exercise was carried out in Ota and its environs to safeguard the lives of Nigerians.

Some of the companies visited for enforcement were: Nigeria Distilleries Limited, International Distillers Limited, Danzchiji Global Nigeria Enterprises, and Euro Global Foods and Distilleries Limited, among others.


By Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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