The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has called on Ghanaians to improvise degradable materials instead of plastic materials to cut down its negative effects on the environment.
According to the Minister, it’s been estimated that, the oceans would contain more plastic than fish in weight by the year 2050. Ghana including many developing countries has also increased in the use of plastics much more than the world’s average because of rapid urbanisation and economic development.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng indicated that, plastics are bio-non-degradable materials and thus, does not decompose, therefore, it negatively affect the environment, destroying fertile lands and aquatic resources, pollutes the air with poisonous gasses that causes severe damages to both the health of human and animals.
According to him, an immediate ban on plastic materials in the country can’t be the solution, instead, there should be a systematic education and an effective sustainable management plans through useful recycling of waste materials into productive products.
The Minister said, Ghana has more advantage of the available raw materials to generate income, turn the plastic waste into creative and useful products as well as create more jobs.
He said MESTI’s strategy in managing plastics will hinge on “reducing use, re-use, refuse single use recycle, and replacement, such as replacement of plastic shopping bags by cotton materials or paper”.
He was speaking at a stakeholders’ forum on sustainable plastic waste management, organised by Deutsche Gesellschaft für, Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in collaboration with MESTI in Accra on Tuesday 30th January, 2018, at the Fiesta Royal Hotel.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng however said, the spat at which the consumption and production of plastic waste is rapidly increasing in the current growing economy globally, it could pose a serious climate and environmental challenges if nothing is not done about it. Saying “According to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNDP 2009), the world’s annual output of plastic waste was estimated at 100 million tons. Of this 10 million metric tonnes end up in the oceans.”
In her presentation, the Project Manager for the development of the National Plastic Policy, Ms. Heather Troutman, pointed out some of the important areas designed to support sustainable developments, job creation, recycling and others, under the NPP draft as well as its impact of plastic on the environment, the value chain, major challenges including lack of finance and market.
Heather however pointed out that, the Policy was also expected to have some strategic actions that would digress into behavioural changes, planning collaborations, resource mobilisation, governance and many others, by achieving and actualizing its aims.
By Sammy Adjei