Ghana is set to get its first waste to energy recycling plant, as the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association readies to establish a £5million recycling facility.
The plant, to be located at Akunse in the Eastern Region, will transform sachet-water-bags waste into carrybags, which after use will also be converted – into diesel fuel.
The project is a collaboration between the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association and P2D Recycling Limited of Germany.
“We will be converting sachet-water-bag waste into carrybags. Now, after the carrybags have been used, they will again be converted into diesel fuel – and this fuel will be much cleaner than that we are getting from the Tema Oil Refinery,” president of the association Ebow Botwe told B&FT.
“The building for the plant is almost complete, and once we get all certifications the machines are ready in Germany and will be shipped to Ghana,” he said.
The plant has between 25,000 and 30,000-litres per day capacity, and is expected to be ready before the middle of next year.
Apart from this project, he also disclosed that three other plastic waste recycling plants will be established by some members of the association.
“We are putting money into recycling; some of our members – particularly the Mohinani Group, have agreed to set up two recycling plants – to be located at Agbogbloshie and Ashaiman – to convert plastic waste into useful products for local consumption and export,” he said.
“Beyond that, the issue now has got much to do with PET bottles, because companies are now shifting from glass bottles to PET.
“But that problem will soon be a thing of the past. Blow Group of Companies has taken the initiative by investing in a plant worth £4million. This plant should be operational in August next year,” he added.
The plant to be operated by the Blow Group is a 120,000 kilos-per-hour facility and will be situated in Tema.
It will also be converting plastic-bottle waste back into PET bottles, and is expected to drastically reduce the amount of plastic and PET bottle waste in the country.
“At the end of the day we should have nothing left in our streams and water-bodies, and in the refuse dumps. We expect this to drastically reduce the quantum of plastic bottle waste.”
Industry data show that, currently, recycling companies are able to handle only 20% of the tonnes of flexible plastic waste that inundates Ghana’s environment.
It is estimated that the country loses billions of cedis to poor waste management. The situation is also directly linked to rampant outbreaks of cholera and malaria in most communities across the country.
Apart from the adverse effects on human lives, poor waste handling also poses a great threat to the environment and other living animals, both on land and in water-bodies.