The Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) is celebrating five (5) years of promoting sustainable plastic waste management in Ghana.
The celebration will kick-start this month and culminate in an official launch in November, and is expected to offer stakeholders an opportunity to appreciate the progress GRIPE has made in the plastic waste management ecosystem over the years.
Commenting on the anniversary celebration, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), extolled GRIPE’s genuine efforts to find tangible solutions to the plastic pollution crisis that has plagued the country for decades.
“We accept your helping hand toward achieving the National Plastics Management Policy’s aims. This partnership brings a renewed focus and cohesion to the many existing policies and programmes within the public and private sectors to address the rapidly growing plastics pollution crisis in Ghana,” the minister said.
The ministry, he added, stands ready to work with GRIPE to develop innovative business plans and models while creating and supporting opportunities for greater efficiencies and higher recovery.
Dr. Francis Boateng Agyenim, Director, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Institute of Industrial Research (IIR), congratulated GRIPE on its 5th anniversary.
He said the CSIR-GRIPE plastics recovery project in schools that was launched in November 2021 has recovered 7.38 tonnes of plastic waste which would have ended up in landfills. “They are channeled to industry while schools make returns to sustain the infrastructure put in place by the project,” he said.
Seth Twum-Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) – the umbrella body under whose auspices GRIPE operates, said the last five years “have given us many reasons to celebrate”.
GRIPE is a private-sector group operating a voluntary Extended Producer Responsibility (vEPR) scheme to complement government’s efforts in tackling the plastic waste menace.
He said: “The progress we have seen today within the plastic value chain, such that businesses are now venturing into bottle-to-bottle rPET recycling in Ghana, is largely due to the advocacy and education by GRIPE. It is only by working in collaboration with the public and private sectors that we can win the fight against the plastic waste menace in Ghana”.
Activities lined up for the celebrations include campaigns designed to instil a waste-segregation mentality in the youth, and clean-up exercises in partnership with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) among others.