The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) has launched a plastic waste management campaign on the theme “plastic is a resource, not waste,” at Kwahu Abetifi in the Eastern Region.
The campaign is being implemented in the Kwahu East District Assembly and Kwahu South Municipal Assembly.
Leveraging the upcoming Kwahu Easter festival, the launch brought together key stakeholders in the five Kwahu Local Government Authorities, development partners and the civil society organisations operating in the Eastern Region to enhance knowledge and share information on plastic pollution.
It forms part of measures to surmount plastic waste challenges and show how feasible plastics can be managed as a resource in the country.
The campaign also forms part of measures employed by MESTI to create awareness and sensitise the general public on the potential economic benefit of plastic waste, and its harmful effect on the environment, especially on water bodies, if not properly disposed.
The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie was worried about the rate at which plastic waste had suddenly engulfed some parts of the country, stating Ghana was “drowning in a sea of plastics.”
He said the widespread of littering and indiscriminate dumping of plastics continued to pose serious risks to the environment and public health, a situation he described as worse in the northern part of the country.
The minister said Ghana was applauded for its commitment for contributing to finding lasting solutions to myriad of problems relating to the environment, through strategic efforts towards regional cooperation and partnership.
Nonetheless, Dr Afriyie said beyond the nuisance called waste, it was also a resource that had the potential to grow the economy, and create jobs through vibrant and market-driven domestic recycling industries.
In his welcome address, the Kwahu East District Chief Executive, Isaac Agyapong said the campaign also fits into the national operation clean your frontage initiative.
He said it was also aimed at ensuring effective mobilisation of plastic wastes, as the popular Kwahu Easter festivity approached, to ensure a pollution free environment during and after the celebration.
Mr Agyapong said some key objectives of the campaign were to effectively mobilise plastic wastes generated during the Kwahu Easter festivity to create jobs and serve as a source of raw material for plastic-based products to heighten the secular economy concept.
He said it would also create awareness and sensitise the public on the economic benefits of plastics, its harmful effect on the environment, promote collection, segregation and recycling of all kinds of plastics, intensify the buy-back concept and plastic waste management.
FROM KODJO DAVID, KWAHU ABETIFI