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Plastic policy ready for cabinet consideration - Prof. Frimpong Boateng

PGovernment says it is making progress in finding a sustainable way to manage the use of plastics in the country as a plastic policy and implementation plan that would trigger various actions is ready for consideration by cabinet.

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng who disclosed this, reaffirmed government’s stance that an outright ban would not be placed on plastics.

Rather, he gave an indication that some plastic products such as straws, plastic bags, plastic cutlery and chewing gums could be banned because their absence from the market would not affect the health and development of the country.

“Plastics are not bad, but it is rather the way we use and manage it that is poor,” he told journalists on Tuesday on the sidelines of the ongoing Africa Climate Week 2019 in Accra.

Under the theme, “Climate Change action in Africa: A race we can win,” the event  is serving as a platform  for the more than 1,000 participants worldwide to discuss how to advance national climate action plans, also known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Delving further into the strategy for plastics, Prof. Frimpong Boateng said it would advance a “circular economy” where plastics would be recycled, stating that there were so many companies that were using plastics to make pavement blocks and other useful things.

He said the government had taken its time to address the issue of plastics, so as to prevent the situation in some countries where plastics had been banned, but the purpose of the ban had been defeated because there had been exemptions for several plastic materials. 

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng called on Ghanaians to change their attitude towards plastic waste management as well as practise waste segregation to enable recycling companies put them to good use.

Touching on efforts being made to reduce the effect of climate change and adapt to it, the minister said the government was promoting solar, biomass, wind and nuclear energy, adding that green energy had increased from 2.4 megawatts to 50 megawatts over the last few years.

Prof. Frimpong Boateng said the one-village one-dam programme, which aims to aid farming during dry season, was in line with efforts to help adapt to climate change in the northern sector of the country.

He said the government was putting together its proposal to access the global green fund to implement its 31 NDCs for the next decade although the process was tough.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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