FanMilk showcases recycling project to Prince Charles

BY: Bernard Neequaye
FanMilk showcases recycling project to Prince Charles
FanMilk showcases recycling project to Prince Charles

FanMilk Ghana Limited has showcased its flagship recycling project, PICK-IT at a roundtable discussion and exhibition on plastic waste organised as part of a programme to mark the visit of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Camilla’s visit to Ghana.

The event was convened under the topic “Keeping Plastic’s value in the economy and out of the ocean” with the objective to develop solutions and opportunities regarding Ghana’s plastic waste problem with a view to advance the goals of the Global Plastics Action Partnership (GPAP) and the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance (CCOA).

Launched in July 2017, “Pick It” is an inclusive recycling project that is contributing to increased plastic waste collection and recycling, while improving the livelihoods of waste pickers in Tema Newtown and Kpone.

The Pick-IT project, which is co-created by Fan Milk Limited, Environment 360,WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) and the MIT D-lab in partnership with and support from the Danone Ecosystem Fund, Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Tema Traditional Council (TTC), the Solid Waste Management Department at the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), and the Dutch Development Bank, commissioned a fully functioning sorting center, the first of its kind in the sub-region in Tema New Town.

It is an innovative recycling initiative that has improved solid waste management in Ghana and also generated relevant economic, social and environmental impact. Since its inception, the project has collected over 7 tons of plastic(with 4 tons in October alone) and sold them to recyclers. Additionally, thanks to our partners from WIEGO, two waste picker leaders from the Kpone landfill site attended a Global Waste Pickers Meeting in Buenos Aires in October 2018. Additionally, over 300 waste pickers in Kpone and Tema New Town have received training in health and safety, occupational health as well as received health insurance.

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Speaking during the event, Naa Ayeleysa Quaynor-Mettle, Project Manager for Pick-It, explained the background of the key successes of the project to His Royal Highness, Prince Charles during which he commended the team for such a great start and shared that was very impressed to learn about the milestones achieved and excited about the potential future impact.

Prince Charles expressed his delight to learn about the industry coalition, Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE), which has been working to improve the plastic waste value chain in Ghana through projects such as Pick-It. Formed in November 2017 GRIPE comprises eight major manufacturing companies: the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana; Dow Chemical West Africa Limited; Fan Milk Ghana Limited; Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited; Nestlé Ghana; PZ Cussons Ghana Limited; Unilever Ghana; and Voltic (GH) Limited.

For his part, Stephane Couste, Managing Director of FanMilk, added that his outfit was proud to be one of the first companies to develop an innovative solution with the inclusive packaging recycling model and leverage the circular economy to have a positive impact on both the local communities and the environment.

“Pick-it is a project that allows both value creation and inclusive development in Ghana by turning waste into resources. In the longer term, our goal is to collect more plastics than we generate, replicate Pick-it’s model in other cities throughout Ghana and become plastic positive by 2022. This goal is aligned with our commitment to the objectives of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation,” he said.

The Executive Director for Environment 360, Ms Cordie Aziz, who took part at the exhibition, said she was pleased to be a core partner of the Pick-IT project and particularly excited to see the impact made in the lives of over 300 waste-pickers within the first year of its launch.