Plastic pollution has become a major development challenge across the world. In Ghana, recent statistics show that the country generates about 1.7 million tons of plastic waste annually.
Out of this, only 2-5% (22,000-55,000) is recycled. The rest end on landfill (38%), land (28%), sea (23%), or burned (11%).
And as calls for collaborative efforts from all stakeholders within the waste management value chain to find a lasting solution to the problem heighten— a project is underway in the West African country aimed at turning plastic waste into fuel — grease, diesel, and petrol.
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The project by a group of determined young Ghanaians working on limited resources received a UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) to begin piloting the initiative.
From the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana, the creative Ghanaian geniuses use very simple and local means to turn plastic waste into fuels.
Their solution of plastics-to-fuel holds promise in not only curbing pervasive pollution, but also providing a significant economic benefit to Ghana.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last month launched the Ghana National Plastics Action Partnership to stop the growth of global plastic pollution, and also ensure, amongst others, that plastics do not find their way into the country’s marine bodies, reports Starrfm.com.gh.
Akufo-Addo noted that the menace of plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing challenges facing mankind today.
“When I took office in 2017, I requested the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, headed by its Minister, the globally acclaimed Ghanaian scientist, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, to develop an effective strategy to meet the challenges associated with the management of plastic waste in Ghana,” he said.
The President continued, “The result is the National Plastics Management Policy of Ghana, whose blue-print has attracted the attention of the global community, and has led us to this exciting partnership with the World Economic Forum.”
Ghana’s Plastic Management Policy, he explained, is not focused only on how to address plastic waste, but takes also a holistic view of the entire value chain of plastics, and seeks to achieve several objectives.
Amongst them are to develop a working circular economy framework for plastics in Ghana; to reduce Ghana’s reliance on the use of plastics and promote their replacement with green alternatives; to nurture the development of new business models for job creation throughout the value chain; to develop systems and infrastructure across the country that will ensure that we are not littering our plastic waste, but using them as resources for value-addition; and to ensure that Ghana has a long-term and sustainable means of funding plastic waste management.
Through Ghana’s partnership with the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), President Akufo-Addo was confident that progress will be fast-tracked in Ghana “towards that collective goal, which is to achieve zero leakage of plastic waste into our oceans and waterways.”