fbpx

Reduce plastic waste, embrace recycling

BY: Kester Aburam Korankye
Olu Raheem, Trade Commissioner for Finland in West Africa

Stakeholders at a forum on plastic recycling have stated that it is time to “rethink plastic both to make use of its value and to stop damaging the environment.”

Available data shows that an industry-wide circular approach to the global plastics sector has the potential to create 700,000 jobs and generate savings of 200bn per year.

According to, the Trade Commissioner for Finland in West Africa, Business Finland, Olu Raheem, said it requires a whole scale transformation of the plastics system and can only be achieved by bringing together all links in the chain under a shared commitment to act.

Speaking to the press at the Plastic Recycling Transformation in Ghana – World Circular Economy Forum Side Event in Accra on yesterday (Dec 20), he indicated that Finland as a partner was ready to collaborate with Ghana, and adding that, businesses and organizations must demonstrate a will to act on plastic pollution and from the policy point of view government need to have a roadmap.

Roadmap action

He further said “From policy making to decision making takes time. Yes, Ghana needs a stronger roadmap when it comes to circular economy, more policies around waste management and waste recycling producer responsibility.

When it comes to the producers creating the waste, there has to be people responsible and when to make them accountable.”

Circular economy potential

The Finland Ambassador to Ghana, Leena Pylvanainen noted that circular economy portends huge potential for Ghana, and her country is keen to explore partnerships between the two countries in that regard.

For her, transforming the way people think about plastic waste, and seeing it as a resource and seeing it as full business potential remains one of her objectives.

“It is about seeking synergies and forging partnerships, at government level, Finland and Ghana have partnered at the World Trade Organisation -we work together on bringing the circular economy onto the WTO and is a cooperation we are very keen to continue.”

Carbon footprint reduction

The Chairman and Founder of Block Solutions, Markus Sinlfverberg said circular economy provides an opportunity to innovate, drive superior business results, and better customer loyalty as well as job creation.

His company, Block Solutions uses biofiber and recycled products to produce blocks for construction and he plans to construct 10 factories across Ghana, which he says is “190,000 reduced carbon, we cutting down carbon footprint by 90percent and we also creating about 800 jobs with the establishment of these factories -and in the area of waste picking as well.”

Finland was the first country to adopt a national circular economy roadmap in 2016, the ambassador stated.

An emerging way for companies to combat waste, and help consumers get the most of their products is now referred to as the “circular economy – the products that stay in use for longer, then the idea is to recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

Analysts have also suggested that a circular economy for plastics that tackles the causes of plastics waste and pollution, not just the symptoms, focusing on innovation, better packaging design and end of use systems will not only generate long term benefits for the environment, but also a huge economic opportunity.