Ghana Not Ready to Ban Plastics ― Prof Frimpong
With the albatross of Plastic Waste management heavy on the neck of government, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng says, government is not ready to ban plastics.
According to him, though his Ministry had considered taking this ‘most wanted’ step, it is not yet in the position to place an embargo on plastic products.
Taking his turn at the Meet the Press series in Accra, yesterday, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said, though plastics negatively affect the environment by destroying fertile lands and aquatic resources because of its bio-non-degradable state, Ghana would continue to manage the menace until a plastic policy is in full force.
“Plastic waste is a problem and sometimes I am told to ban plastics because it has been banned in Rwanda, Kenya, Cote d’ Ivoire and other countries. Yes, it is the best but right now without a policy, it would be difficult so we have finished the Zero draft of our policy and it is going through the consultations and pretty soon, we would have a plastic policy in Ghana,” he noted.
Another reality inhibiting the ban on plastics according to the minister is the fact that most of the country’s water sources have been polluted by activities of illegal mining―making a lot of individuals resort to ‘purified’ water or what is commonly known as ‘pure water’ for consumption.
“So right now, the way things are, water polluted and our people in the villages not getting access to river water, I would find it extremely difficult to ban plastics,” he emphasised.
Prof. Frimpong- Boateng continued: “When we are through with cleaning the water bodies and making sure that they are clean, that people can use them to bath, then we can think about banning plastics.”
But the minister reveals that it would be difficult to ban plastics in a wholesale adding that, the prudent way to begin, would be to place a ban on carrier bags.
“…when we go to the supermarket or markets to buy things, you can sew cotton bags to help you keep things in it,” he suggested.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng further called on Ghanaians to minimise their use of plastic products and substitute them with degradable materials.
Meanwhile, MESTI says plans are underway to deal with the challenges of electronic waste in the capital.
The minister revealed that the ministry had joined forces with the German government to set up an E-waste holding facility.
This facility according to the minister would be stationed at Teshie, in Accra and would engage local scrap dealers.
In the capital city, the Agbogbloshie site is known as a destination for locally generated automobile and electronic scrap collected from across the City.
“…we are going to buy the waste from the young men who gather the waste at Agbogbloshie, at a price that is slightly higher than what they get after processing them” through combustion.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org