Ghana’s effort to recycle plastic waste has received a major boost following the singing of a Memorandum of Understanding between eight leading manufacturers to, among other things, promote investments and harmonise waste reprocessing.
Dubbed the Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE), the idea is led by Coca-Cola, Dow Chemicals, PZ Cussons, Voltic Ghana Limited, Unilever, Nestle Ghana, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited and Fan Milk Limited and is expected to take off next month.
Its objectives include to raise awareness and galvanize efforts of member companies in the fast moving goods group to spearhead initiatives to manage plastic waste in a more sustainable manner, towards making Ghana the neatest country in Africa by 2020.
“As individual companies, we all have our own environmental programmes that we run, however, we know that if we come together we will able manage the waste better. So we pulling our resources together.
Our main objectives are centered on research, public advocacy, multi-stakeholder engagement and second life implementation – turning plastic waste into something valuable,” said Joyce Ahiadorme, a representative of Voltic Ghana and one of the lead coordinators for GRIPE.
Asked when the initiative will be implemented, Mrs. Ahiadorme said was it will take off next month, with the piloting of second life solution where plastic waste will be used with concrete for building purposes, especially public toilets.
To enable it to achieve its objectives, GRIPE will also be working with existing waste management and recycling firms, like ZoomLion, whom it seeks to draw lessons from.
Ralph Ayitey, National Executive Committee member of the Association of Ghanaian Industries (AGI), was upbeat that GRIPE, together with the recently launched National Sanitation campaign by the government, would to find sustainable ways to manage the several tonnes of plastics generated on a daily basis.
Currently, about 10 percent of plastic waste is recycled, while the rest finds its way into water bodies, thereby causing environmental and health challenges. GRIPE hopes to increase the percentage of recycled plastic by some large volumes by end of 2020.
Ghana is also now ranked the seventh dirtiest country in the world. And this has affected efforts at making the country the preferred tourist’s destination in the sub-region.