Plastic waste management programme, ESPA commits to sustainable capitalisation

In what can be described as a step in stimulating responsible waste management practices, the Plastic Waste Management Programme has created a fund to cater for the increasing problem of plastic waste management.

When fully disbursed, the fund will be able to cater for debts and logistics to make plastic waste management easier.

The initiative began in 2011 and will lead to effective and efficient sustainability of capitalisation in the plastic waste management programme, as part of the driving tool to improve sanitation in Ghana.

Commenting on the initiative at the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), the President of Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association, Ebbo Botwe, indicated that the initiative is critical in moving Ghana toward a clean nation.

He said: “In 2011, when a ban was placed on plastic waste, we decided to find a way to make the burden a little lighter by initiating an ad valorem tax on plastic products and imports.

“We began with a 20% tax and pushed for a 10% environmental tax on plastic products.

Our findings for the past three years reveal that the 10% EET accrued over GHË618million cedis.”

Mr. Botwe added that the money in the consolidated fund has been in hold-up for the past years, because there has not been a legal authority to oversee its disbursement.

He explains that if the appropriate authority is put in place, 50% of the funds will go into recycling projects as well as making useful things out of plastic.

Also speaking at the event, President of ESPA Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong expressed his joy at the private sector’s achievements in adding value to the waste sector through various waste management facilities.

He is optimistic about growth of the sector through private franchise – from 75% in 2010 to 90% in 2015 – and hopes that the sector will attain 100% by 2020.

Dr. Siaw Agyepong lamented that in order to reach its target, government must clear its debts, to make it easier for ESPA to continue its services to the nation.

“There are several landfills operating; however, many of them are owed huge sums of money. The Oti landfill is owed GHË40million, Waste landfills GHË86 million and other landfills. These debts when cleared can make it easier for many of ESPA members to operate and provide stellar services,” he said.

He added that aside from clearing debts, government can provide some form of subsidy in the charge for dumping-fees. He further explained that the fight against poor sanitation is a collaborative effort.