In support of its ambition and national efforts to manage the effects of plastic waste, the Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) – an industry-led initiative by eight (8) manufacturing companies under the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) – has called on stakeholders to work collectively on finding lasting and sustainable means of managing the plastic waste menace in Ghana.
Participating in the 2018 World Environment Day event on the theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, held in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), GRIPE noted that the issue of plastic pollution demands an all hands-on deck approach and there is a need for all – including brands, retailers, manufacturers, recyclers, NGOs, waste pickers, citizens and government – to work together.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Ana Carolina Mendes Ussier said the reality is that for many years our society has benefitted from plastic, paper, aluminum and other materials without thinking about what happens at the end of their lifespan.
“We need to move from the take-make-disposal economy into a more circular economy, in which used plastic becomes a resource for new applications and products. Waste management is a shared responsibility, which means all of us have a role to play,” she added.
Ms. Ussier indicated that GRIPE is committed to the efforts aimed at tackling plastic waste management in the country, and ensuring that, incrementally, industry is taking leadership in the area of collection and recycle rates across the country.
“GRIPE is already piloting initiatives that will contribute to beating plastic pollution. The first collection and sorting centre is in its last stages of construction and should be launched in July 2018, in Tema New Town. In April 2018, GRIPE kick-started the validation of a recycling technology in Ghana that allows plastic to be used as aggregates in construction blocks,” she said.
She informed the gathering that, going forward, GRIPE will seek out ways to build synergies and multi-stakeholder collaborations that drive outcomes around a digital education campaign focused on segregation at source and anti-littering behaviour; setting-up collection and sorting centres that will help create jobs; and supporting waste-pickers through capacity building, organizational skills and appropriate tools.
She conveyed GRIPE’s congratulations to the MESTI and EPA for the proposed Take-Back Scheme initiative, as the coalition believes it will transition Ghana from a linear economy into a circular one that will gradually remove plastic from the environment and increase recycling rates.
“We invite all stakeholders, especially other members of industry, to join the efforts by GRIPE to work together in achieving the aims and objectives of the initiative,” she added.