THE Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) has launched its fifth anniversary with activities lined up to promote sustainable plastic waste management in Ghana.
GRIPE which aims at finding workable solutions to plastic waste management challenges in Ghana currently has 14 members, namely: Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Dow Chemical West Africa Limited, FanMilk PLC, Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC, Nestlé Ghana, PZ Cussons Ghana Limited, and Unilever Ghana PLC.
The rest are: Accra Brewery Limited, Pernod Ricard Ghana Limited, Mohinani Group, Voltic (GH) Limited, Fine Pack Industries, KGM Industries and Universal Plastic Products & Recycling Limited.
Activities lined for the celebration include campaigns designed to instill a waste segregation mentality in the youth, and clean-up exercises in partnership with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), among others.
In a release issued by the organisation on September 13, it said the celebration is designed to offer stakeholders an opportunity to appreciate the progress GRIPE has made over the past five years in the plastic ecosystem in Ghana.
Commenting on the anniversary, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), Dr Kwaku Afriyie, commended GRIPE for its efforts to finding tangible solutions to the plastic pollution crisis that has plagued Ghana for decades.
“We accept your helping hand towards achieving the aim of the National Plastics Management Policy. This partnership brings a renewed focus and cohesion to the many existing policies and programmes within the public and private sectors to address the rapidly growing plastics pollution crisis in Ghana,” he said.
He said the Ministry was ready to collaborate with GRIPE to develop innovative business plans and models, whiles creating and supporting opportunities for greater efficiencies, and higher recovery.
Tackling plastic waste menace
The Director, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - Institute of Industrial Research (IIR), Dr Francis Boateng Agyenim, who congratulated GRIPE on its 5th anniversary, said the CSIR- GRIPE plastics recovery project in schools was launched in November 2021.
He said since its inception, the project has recovered 7.38 tons of plastic wastes which would have ended up in landfills.
“They were channeled to industry whilst schools make returns to sustain the infrastructure put in place by the project,” he added.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the umbrella body under whose auspices GRIPE operates, Seth Twum-Akwaboah, said GRIPE is a private-sector group operating a voluntary Extended Producer Responsibility (vEPR) scheme to complement the government’s efforts in tackling the plastic waste menace.
“The progress we have seen today within the plastic value chain is such that businesses are now venturing into bottle-to-bottle rPET recycling in Ghana, and it is largely due to the advocacy and education by GRIPE.
It is only by working in collaboration with the public and private sectors that we can win the fight against the plastic waste menace in Ghana,” he said.
GRIPE was formed through the concerted effort of eight industry stakeholders including the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
GRIPE is committed to integrating sustainable waste management solutions, particularly around plastics.