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Release funds from environmental excise tax for its intended purpose - Plastic manufacturers to govt

BY: Getrude Ankah Nyavi
Mr Ebbo Botwe, President, Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association (GPMA), stressing a point. Those with him are Mr Magnus Nunoo (right), President, National Association of Sachet Water Producers, Mr Elvis Oppong, (2nd left), President, Pure Water Sachet Waste Collectors and Mr Alfred Numo (left), Board Member, GPMA. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY
Mr Ebbo Botwe, President, Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association (GPMA), stressing a point. Those with him are Mr Magnus Nunoo (right), President, National Association of Sachet Water Producers, Mr Elvis Oppong, (2nd left), President, Pure Water Sachet Waste Collectors and Mr Alfred Numo (left), Board Member, GPMA. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY

The Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association (GPMA) has called on the government to release the 10 per cent environmental excise tax with immediate effect for its intended purpose.

According to the group, the fund has accrued GH¢911.6 million, as of the end of April 2019 and has still not been used for its intended purpose since its introduction in 2011.

They made the call on Tuesday at a press conference in Accra in relation to matters relating to plastic waste pollution in Ghana.

Speaking on behalf of the association, the president of GPMA, Mr Ebbo Botwe said they proposed to the government to introduce the 20 per cent ad valorem on plastics in 2011 as a kind of polluter-pay-principle under Act 512.

“Between 2011 and 2014, the fund accrued GH¢44.3 million which was paid into the consolidated account because the fund secretariat was not set up. In the last quarter of 2013, we, in consultation with our stakeholders proposed an amendment to Act 512 to introduce the 10% Environmental Excise Tax, which is Act 863. Act 863 is a special tax on semi-finished and raw plastic materials and also some plastic products. This Act has been effective since the beginning of 2014”.

“All of this money is supposed to be in the consolidated fund because the legal instruments to set up the Fund Authority have still not been done till today. The objective of Act 863 is to mobilise sustainable financial resources to tackle the plastic waste.”

The GPMA named some of the highlights of Act 863 as the Establishment of Plastic Waste Recycling Fund or Authority, to put at least 50 per cent of the funds into plastic waste recycling, to provide dustbins for waste separation and to provide financial support to agencies and institutions involved in plastic waste management.

It is also to provide supplementary funding to plastic waste management companies in Ghana, to support plastic waste collectors to undertake plastic waste collection programmes and to support educational programmes and sustainable plastic waste management initiatives.

“We, the plastic industry on our own accord, proposed for this special tax to enable mother Ghana to sustainably generate the financial resources to manage plastic waste but sadly to this day, the Authority has not been established and the revenue from the 10 per cent EET are still paid into the consolidated accounts”.

“Governments have not released the monies that have accrued over the last 8 years for its intended purpose. The accrued amount of GH¢9.12 million could build 6 ultra-modern high capacity polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle waste recycling plants, 20 high capacity HDPE/LD recycling plants and at least 2 high capacity Plastic-to-Fuel plants”.

He added that if Ghana had these aforementioned plants, the country would be importing plastic waste to feed these plants, just as Germany imports PET plastic waste to feed their recycling plants.

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