The Government of Ghana has indicated its readiness to partner with stakeholders in the private sector and academia to drive investment into the area of plastic waste management. The subject of plastic waste has long been part of the international discourse because of its dreadful effects on the environment and the changes it has caused to climate change irrespective of the many attempts by countries and international experts to deal with the menace.
Though there have been endless debates on plastic waste management across the globe, none has been able to conclusively arrive at a definite solution. While some advocate for a ban as has been implemented by some countries, others also support recycling, which although identified as the most preferred option, hasn’t been able to live up to expectations considering the worsening condition. Over the years, plastic production has increased in Ghana as a result of its valuable usage. According to a study, Ghana generated 302,192 kg/day of plastic waste in 2010 (more than 4 times generated in Kenya per day during the same period), and 81% (around 244,835 kg/day) of the waste was inadequately managed (plastic waste dumped in uncontrolled landfills). Its durability and economically high usage have led to overreliance leading to the generation of tonnes of plastic waste daily. Almost everything we buy now comes in a plastic package or wrapped in one. It’s destructive capabilities however far outweighs the benefits because the manufacturing of plastic involves the use of petrochemicals or natural gas making it not biodegradable. This means that once it’s broken down into tiny pieces, it can remain in, and become harmful to ecosystems for years.
Several countries in Europe, Asia and Africa have already implemented stringent measures including banning as in the case of Rwanda. Thus Ghana’s partnership with the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) and the World Economic Forum will be of immense support towards the country’s plastic waste management drive. Through this partnership, Ghana which is the second country globally and only country in Africa to have secured this opportunity, will also be able to implement sustainable measures that can broadly address our current plastic environmental challenges. This calls as well for the cooperation of all and sundry including relevant institutions, agencies, bodies, plastic experts, and individuals whose work are impacted in one way or the other by this phenomenon.