A campaign christened “Plastic is a resource, not waste”, aimed at managing plastic waste during this year’s Easter festivity on the Kwahu Ridge and in the Eastern Region has been launched.
The plastic waste management campaign is an initiative of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), working through the Kwahu East District Assembly (KEDA) and Kwahu South Municipal Assembly (KSMA).
Waste management company, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, is actively involved and supporting with about 300 dustbins and other waste management logistics, including personnel, all in an effort to ensure that the Easter festivity is celebrated in a clean and healthy environment.
Launching the campaign at the forecourt of the Abetifi Chief's Palace in Abetifi in the Eastern Region last Tuesday, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, said it was expected that huge volumes of plastic waste would be generated during the Easter festivity on the Kwahu Ridge.
"And it is for that reason that I humbly implore all – religious bodies, schools, chiefs, event organisers, state and non-state actors, the private sector and the media-- to put in place measures for plastic segregation and collection," the minister said.
Sea of plastics
He decried the plastic menace across the country, adding that it was regrettable that Ghana was sinking in a sea of plastics.
"From our roadsides, water bodies, parks, and drainage systems, the widespread littering and indiscriminate dumping of these plastics, is causing serious risks to the environment and public health," he bemoaned.
Even though Ghana has been applauded at the global level for its efforts in finding lasting solutions to her myriad of environmental problems, Dr Afriyie said that the country continued to be saddled with major challenges, especially in plastic waste collection and the management of thin plastics.
In this regard, he expressed his firm commitment to work with other ministers who were stakeholders in this campaign to achieve the sustainable management of plastics in the country.
The minister called on the people in the Eastern Region to help in the fight against the plastics menace, warning that it had the potential to disrupt the country's future development.
Dr Afriyie called on the citizenry to stop thinking of plastic as waste, "but as a renewable resource that needed to be disposed correctly.
He said the benefits of recycling plastics were enormous, which ranged from building and construction materials to bags, fuel, as well as providing jobs for many Ghanaians.
Support of chiefs
The Ankobeahene of Abetifi, Nana Anim Dwumfuor II, who represented the Abetifihene/Kwahu Adontenhene, affirmed the support of the chiefs towards the success of the initiative.
He commended the minister for launching what he described as a 'laudable initiative' that will help stem the menace of plastic waste in the region.
Nana Dwumfuor appealed to the minister to ensure that logistics to facilitate and sustain the campaign were made available.
For his part, the Eastern Regional General Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr George Aguadze, said during the festivity his company would support the municipalities with 300 dustbins and compaction trucks, among other logistics, to ensure that plastic waste was effectively managed during the Easter.