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Environment360 announces PET bottle recycling partnership with Qualiplast

BY: Kweku Zurek
Environment360 announces PET bottle recycling pilot with Qualiplast
A member of the Oforikfrom Dagombe Line Association preparing the plastics for transport

Environment360, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has announced a partnership with Qualiplast, one of the largest plastic producers in Ghana, to help support the collection of bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by informal workers in Kumasi.

The partnership between the two parties is expected to leverage on Qualiplast’s transportation network to ensure that PET bottles collected in Kumasi are transported into Accra, Environment 360 announced in a statement.

"Plastic bottles, once in Accra, are further processed by Environment360 and then sold unto a third party that creates plastic straps for packaging," the statement said.

"The project, which is supported by GIZ through funding through the partnership between Ghana and the German Federal State of Northern Rhine-Westphalia, seeks to decrease the amount of plastic litter found in Kumasi by creating a sustainable collection system for PET bottles by informal sector workers. To help support the collection of the plastic bottles, Environment360 pays a financial incentive to informal sector workers participating; thereby initiating the first takeback program of PET bottles in the area. The program has already shown great potential, with informal sector workers gathering nearly 2 tons of plastic bottles within two weeks.

"To support the sustainability of the project, Environment360 provides a variety of tailored capacity building, business and leadership training that help strengthen the voice of informal sector workers and improve collection methods and business practices".

Bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET, sometimes PETE) can be used to make lower grade products, such as carpets.

Founded in 1973 Qualiplast is one of the largest plastic packaging manufacturers in Ghana, offering clients a wide variety of plastic products including, beverage and storage containers.

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Miss Maha Odaimat, the Marketing and Export Coordinator for Qualiplast said: "It is our cooperate responsibility to support the agenda of keeping Ghana clean through innovative practices such as sparking the transition from wooden to recyclable plastic crates to create a micro – circular economy with virtually no waste".

The Founder and Executive Director of Environment360, Cordie Aziz, commended Qualiplast on the role they are playing to improve economic and environmental conditions in Ghana as well as the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“In order to achieve the UN SDG goals partnerships like these are essential, particularly in the development of sustainable waste management systems. Through this program, the wages of informal sector workers are not only being increased, but we are also creating clean communities that support the sustainability of life on land and below water. This partnership illustrates that private sector players can be key to using their financial and non-financial resources to help solve the plastic pollution problem we are facing in Ghana. We are very grateful to Qualiplast for taking the lead as a private sector on this initiative and helping us beat plastic pollution and we are hoping that more will come to support this program.”

Environment360 says it will replicate the program in Accra starting in February. It hopes to remove nearly 300 tons of plastic waste from the environment during 2019.

Environment360 is a Ghana-based NGO that works with private and public stakeholders to create sustainable waste management systems that support the livelihood of informal sector workers, while also creating community recycling and education programs that support the adoption of sustainable lifestyle practices.

Since its inception, the organization has collected more than 300 tons of plastic. The organization celebrates its fifth year of operations in 2019.