Plastic waste menace: MESTI advocates collaboration

The Minister for MESTI, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie

…as it joins the world to mark Environment Day

The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) has emphasised the private sector’s need to work hand in hand with government in the quest to provide long-lasting solutions to combat plastic pollution.

It said collaboration is key in ensuring effective solutions to tackle the threat plastic pollution poses to both human health and the environment.

It made this call as it joins the world to mark 2023 World Environment Day (WED), dubbed ‘Solutions to Plastic Pollution’.

“To appreciate this year’s theme, there’s a need for collaboration between governments, private sector organisations and individuals to effectively provide long-lasting solutions to combat the threats posed by plastic pollution to both our health and the environment. For us as individuals, institutions, communities, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and as a nation, we are therefore called upon to unite in playing effective roles toward managing plastic waste to protect our environment and achieve greener and better lifestyles,” it stated in a press release.

The major problem confronting the country is single-use plastics or the under-20 micron plastics termed ‘orphan plastics’, and the improper disposal of such plastics.

To this end, MESTI noted that: “In observing the Day, government through the Ministry of MESTI in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other key stakeholders will undertake projects for edible and compostable packaging as a sustainable alternative to single-use plastics; engage and assign public and private collectors to collect and store plastic waste; promote domestic recycling; educate the public on proper waste disposal and segregation practices; call on citizens to undertake clean-up exercises and adopt measures to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover their waste”.

Adopting the slogan ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, the ministry is calling on citizens to use the Day as a catalyst for social change – to collectively beat plastics pollution in the country by rejecting single-use plastics and chart a path to a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable environment for the present day and posterity.

World Environment Day

The United Nations has since 1975 declared the 5th of June of every year as World Environment Day. 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the Day, and it will be hosted by Cote d’Ivoire in partnership with the Netherlands – which is notably one of the countries taking ambitious action along the plastic life-cycle.

The celebration has grown to become the largest global platform for environmental outreaches, and has been selected to promote public awareness and actions on environmental issues. The celebration’s objective is to create regular public awareness and education on emerging environmental issues; serve as a powerful platform to accelerate, amplify and engage people, communities and governments around the world; and stimulate action on critical environmental challenges facing the planet.

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