The government is not considering an immediate ban of plastics, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, has said.
He explained that a ban would worsen the unemployment situation in the country.
Admitting that plastic pollution was a major challenge in the country, he said putting a ban on it at the moment would not be the best solution because of the severe effects it would have on the economy.
World Environment Day forum
At a forum in Accra yesterday to mark this year’s World Environment Day, the minister said: “We are already dealing with the issue of unemployment and besides that, we currently do not have any mechanism to enforce it should it be banned.”
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Organised by the Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS), in partnership with the Australian High Commission, the event brought together stakeholders to discuss issues affecting the environment.
This year’s event was on the theme: “Beat Plastics”.
An estimated eight million tonnes of plastic waste enters the world’s oceans each year.
In Ghana, about 1.7 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated annually, with more than half entering water bodies.
Outlining some of the measures to deal with the issue, Mr Adda said the first batch of sanitation brigades meant to police the observance of the rules and regulations on sanitation would be deployed before the end of July this year.
He indicated that the sanitation brigades were currently being trained and equipped to begin work in some parts of the country, including Accra and Sekondi /Takoradi.
Mr Adda called on plastic companies to come up with modalities on how to help address plastic waste in the country.
Blue Crest College
In a related development, a private university in Accra, Blue Crest College, held a symposium to mark this year’s World Environment Day.
The event was addressed by a number of sanitation experts, including the Deputy Minister for the Interior, Mr Henry Quartey.
Mr Quartey stressed the need for a massive campaign to get students and the younger generation to adopt a positive attitude towards plastic management.
He also called for a concerted effort to address the plastic waste menace before the worst happened.