Ghana stands to gain GHS2 billion annually from recycling of plastic waste, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said.
He explained in his third state of the nation address to parliament on Thursday, 21 February 2019 that converting plastic waste into other useful products will not only fetch Ghana that amount of money but also provide opportunities for the youth in the country.
To that end, the president said his government has taken steps to invest in plastic waste recycling.
“There has been a significant improvement in sanitation even though I acknowledge more can be done. However, this is currently the state of play: we have witnessed an increase in solid waste management from 16 per cent to 53 per cent and over the course of last year, 5,862 household toilets were built as opposed to 1,698 in 2016. We will intensify our efforts in making Accra a clean city.
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“In 2019, apart from continuing in educating and sensitising people, we intend to use the by-laws to enforce cleanliness. The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Sanitation are working together to prosecute sanitation offences. People who litter will be prosecuted and punished and, also those who steal bins from our streets, we are launching a national sanitation brigade to help us carry this out. Through these people, we will not only keep our towns clean but we will provide jobs for our young people.
“Once the waste is properly and efficiently managed, we can then explore how to use the waste collected to advance the economy of our nation.
“A cursory look around will show that plastic waste is our biggest problem. We intend to solve this problem through internationally recognised priorities of waste reduction first, followed by re-use, recycle, recovery and lastly, disposal. The government has laid out a plastic management policy with the overarching aim of meeting the challenges of comprehensive plastic management.
“About 82 per cent of Ghana’s plastic waste will be readily recovered and recycled with the existing technologies into value-added products in high demand locally and within the West African sub-region.
“A vibrant recycling industry in Ghana could recover nearly one million of waste plastics from the environment and landfills, to be recycled into basic needs products valued at GHS2 billion per year creating many jobs across the economy. Currently, extensive discussions are being concluded with investors on the main sustainable actions available to rid Ghana of this menace.”