Plastic waste management pilot project ends
Stakeholders in the waste management sector have been urged to intensify collaboration with metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to promote proper waste segregation in the country.
They have also been urged to work together to raise awareness of plastic pollution while encouraging people to take action to reduce it.
The Executive Director of a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Ecological Restoration Club (ERC), Emmanuel Odjam-Akumatey, gave the advice during an event to close the pilot phase of a waste management project implemented in four public schools within the La Dade-Kotopon Municipality.
Dubbed "Promoting Integrated Plastic Waste Management in Public Schools in the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA)", the project was aimed at promoting good waste management practices among schools.
The selected schools were La Salem Basic School, La St Paul's Primary and JHS, La Enobal Basic School and Association Community Basic School.
The project was funded by the Global Environment Facility Small Grant programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by ERC and LaDMA.
The event was attended by assembly members, environmental health officers, students from the four schools and officers from the municipal education directorate.
Mr Odjam-Akumatey said the project was launched last year to address plastic pollution in the La Dade-Kotopon municipality where plastics were often washed into the Atlantic Ocean, affecting tourism and marine biodiversity.
“We believe that by educating and empowering young learners, whom we have christened plastic ambassadors, we could make a significant contribution towards reducing plastic pollution in the municipality,” he said.
Under the project, he said environmental clubs were formed, plastic ambassadors were appointed and capacity-building workshops were held to develop good environmental practices among students and change their behaviour towards plastic pollution.
He said plastic pollution could be reduced through public awareness, policy interventions, and improved waste management practices, such as reduce, reuse and recycle, known as the three Rs.
“As the pilot phase ends, we plead with the assembly to continue nurturing what we have planted and our desire to see La-Dade-Kotopon Municipality as a plastic-free municipality.
He urged the assembly to continue to support the environmental clubs in public schools and promote plastic waste management education in the municipality for a plastic-free environment.
He also encouraged them to find suitable disposal facilities to ensure proper waste disposal.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the LaDMA, Solomon Kotey-Nikoi, said together with ERC, they had formulated the LaDMA Plastic Waste Collection and Disposal Bye-Laws, 2022, awaiting adoption and enforcement.
He said plastic waste management initiative in schools was not just about waste disposal, but also about embracing a culture of reducing, reusing and recycling.
He said students had been educated on recycling and the need to separate plastic waste, contributing to minimising the amount of plastic that ended up in landfills or the environment.
“Environmental education has been integrated into our curriculum to ensure that learners are equipped with the knowledge and skills to become environmentally conscious citizens,” he said.
He said the assembly had already started engaging institutions to collaborate with them to expand the project to other schools in the municipality and La communities.
“The assembly looks forward to interested stakeholders to partner with us to support the project in terms of funding for its sustainability,” he said.