Ghana: Ban or Not to Ban Single-Use Plastics

20 September 2019

One of the major environmental hazards confronting the country today is management of plastic waste.

As of 2017, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) stated that Ghana produces 1.7 million tonnes of plastic waste annually.

It estimated that only two per cent of the waste is recycled despite enormous opportunities if all was recycled.

This has been attributed to inadequate investments by government and the private sector as well as limited capacity in the business of recycling.

It is for this reason that all around the country, drains, rivers, farms and the oceans are inundated with plastic wastes.

The problems with the management of plastic waste appear to be overwhelming because no solution has yet been found.

Fortunately, the government is taking steps to address the phenomenon in the country by collaborating with the Global Plastics Action Partnerships (GPAP).

The government together with the GPAP will launch a special initiative that is expected to tackle the plastic waste menace head-on.

According to Mr Oliver Boachie, Advisor to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, the focus of the initiative which will be launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on October 1, will be tackling particularly single-use plastics in the country.

Single-use plastics, which are polythene materials used in packaging, pure water sachets, black polythene bags and rubber wrappers, have become a major source of worry and a menace.

For the Ghanaian Times, it is welcoming news that the partnership would focus on single-use plastics which are creating a lot of problems for the environment.

We are not going to go into those problems, but it is important to state that their use must be contained in order to save the environment.

We are happy that the government has hinted of measures it intends taking to ensure that plastic use in the country is done in a manner that will be sustainable and not disruptive to the economy.

We welcome the initiative that is expected to free the world of plastic waste and pollution in the country and applaud the government and the partners for the steps taken that has been described as "the most powerful and concerted global efforts to address the plastic wastes challenge."

We also call on all the partners and the general public to cooperate with the agencies mandated to lead this initiative so that together, we can all contribute toward plastic wastes management in the country.

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