Prince of Wales campaigns against plastic pollution

BY: Sebastian Syme
 Ms Constance Swaniker (3rd left), Chief Executive Officer of  Accents and Arts, explaining a point to the  Prince of Wales, Prince Charles (2nd right), during a visit to Sandbox near Labadi Beach  in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Ms Constance Swaniker (3rd left), Chief Executive Officer of Accents and Arts, explaining a point to the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles (2nd right), during a visit to Sandbox near Labadi Beach in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, took his campaign against plastic pollution to the government and other stakeholders when he engaged in a roundtable dialogue with some stakeholders in the plastic industry in the country to find a solution to the menace.

He met with some government officials and other stakeholders at the Sandbox Beach Resort at Labadi yesterday as part of his five-day visit to Ghana to impress upon them to support his global campaign against plastic pollution in the seas and oceans.

Dialogue

Those in attendance included the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology and Innovation, Ms Patricia Appeagyei, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries, Dr Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Accent & Art, Ms Constance Swaniker, and the Executive Director of Environment 360, Mrs Cordie Aziz.

The roundtable dialogue, which was not open to the media, was said to have centred on the Prince’s campaign for the rest of the world to join hands to end the plastic pollution in the world by finding other productive uses for plastics such as creating wealth out of them.

A source at the meeting told the Daily Graphic that issues about putting plastic waste back into the economy and giving a second life to plastic by creating a sustainable plastic waste management system were highlighted.

It emerged at the meeting that eight million tonnes of plastic waste went into the oceans every year for which reason the meeting brought to the fore the need for the stakeholders to join hands with their counterparts in the other parts of the world to contain the menace.

Ghanaian artist

Ms Swaniker, who is a known Ghanaian with a passion for converting plastic waste materials into an art, took Prince Charles through some of her art works using plastic waste.

She stressed the need to make plastic waste recyclable for economic purposes to make it an incentive for Ghanaians to collect them.

The visiting Prince and his entourage inspected some exhibition stands made of plastic waste mounted by institutions against plastic pollution.

UK plastic tax

As a way to discourage the use of plastics, the British government in 2015 introduced the plastic bag tax and the result is that people in  Britain now use, on average, about 25 plastic bags a year, down from 140 before the tax charge.

Prince Charles has, in the last 40 years, been highlighting the scourge of plastic, which has become one of the public's biggest causes of concern.

He told a marine environment conference recently that he was horrified at the littering of the seas and haunted by photographs of seabirds killed by ingesting plastic and made a passionate plea for action to end the dumping of plastics in the world’s oceans.

Britain and Ghana are members of the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance.

At the last Commonwealth Summit in London in April this year, a commitment was made for the countries of the Commonwealth to work together to protect the oceans by taking steps to eliminate avoidable plastic waste.
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