The Waste Recovery Platform being facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme, Ghana (UNDP Ghana) has organised a Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue to share information on ongoing initiatives on plastics management in Ghana.
The meeting, which was to stimulate partnerships and accelerate the delivery of tangible solutions for plastic management in Ghana, had over 100 stakeholders in attendance.
The participants were drawn from governmental bodies like the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
Private sector Stakeholders present were the Department for International Development (DFID), Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE), Environmental Service Protection Agency (ESPA) and representatives from the University of Ghana.
Madam Bertha Darteh, Consultant for MSWR said the ministry was working at improving quick diagnostic study of the current situation, including identifying business modules and technologies, area change approach and infrastructure, as well as institutions that will support public waste management.
“The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is also encouraging people to make use of the right receptacles for the disposing of their waste and there had been a number of programmes that have been done as a way of campaigning in this area”, she added.
Madam Darteh revealed that the ministry had plans of creating ready market and encouraging more plastic recycling companies to patronize it.
Mr Oliver Boachie, Special Assistant to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the Ministry had come out with a National Plastics Management Policy to deal not only with the waste that came from plastics but also the entire value chain involving production, distribution, use, disposal, collection and recycling.
“The policy is before cabinet for consideration so that in about a month or more, it would come out with recommendations for update. This would also allow other stake holders to contribute to its update. After that, it is our hope that it finds its way into Parliament where legislation or a law would be passed to support how plastics are managed in the country”, he added.
He said the government had several drivers that would shape its objectives towards management of plastic waste.
These drivers had to do with clean environment, development of sustainable business modules that would translate into job creation, sustainability in the areas of human and financial capital in order to ensure the continuity of Government’s objectives, and promoting inclusiveness so that everyone would be a beneficiary, especially those living in the most vulnerable areas of the country.
Mr Desmond Appiah, Sustainability and Resilience Advisor, AMA said their main concern had to do with how to enforce laws and that they had realized the consequences of breaking laws was too minimal.
He said over a year and half, AMA had gone through the process of reviewing its by-laws so that punitive measures become punitive in every sense of the word.
“We now have new by-laws with more penalty points for people who are caught dumping indiscriminately and those who do not obey the by-laws. For example, now if you are caught littering about, the fine is Gh1, 200”, he added.
DFID, GRIPE, ESPA and the representatives from the University of Ghana took turns to also disclose their initiatives towards plastic management, challenges and way forward.