A six-member delegation from the Plastic Waste Management Programme, Ghana, has presented a draft of the Plastic Waste Recycling Fund (PWRF) Bill to Mr Julius Debrah, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.
The legislation is required by the Local Government Ministry to facilitate the creation of the PWRF to enable the country gives recycling the needed boost.
It would also give plastic waste collectors the opportunity to access the fund for procuring more equipment to improve plastic waste collection and to place commercial value on it.
Mr Magnus Nunoo, leader of the delegation and Vice Chairman of the programme, said the commercialization of plastic waste led to launch of the “Operation Chase the Plastic Waste”. It sought to collect the plastic waste in the system for sale to the only waste exporter in the country at the time.
He stated:“Now, there are over 20 recycling plants in Ghana, recycling over 150 tonnes of plastic waste daily. Waste collectors number over 5,000 earning consistent living from waste collection and selling to recyclers.
“This shot up the price of plastic waste from 30 pesewas to one Ghana Cedi, which is over 300 per cent.”
He said believing that the menace could be dealt with, the sachet water producer and distributors, the plastic waste collectors and recyclers, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Ghana Journalists Association initiated the Plastic Waste Management Project.
He said the stakeholders in the plastic waste industry had realised that the fundamental requirement for effective waste management was the attitudinal change of littering and sustained education, therefore, Ghanaians must change their attitudes of littering.
“There is also the need for a sustained funding mechanism to promote the segregation of waste at source for recycling,” he said.
The Vice Chairman said stakeholders in the plastic waste industry at various platforms engaged with the Government to introduce an environmental tax at the port of entry for all plastic imports.
He said, consequently, the first tax was imposed in 2011 and later in 2013, reviewed under Act 863.
It states that, not less than 50 per cent of the tax accrued under the environmental tax should be set aside into a fund known as the Plastic Waste Recycling Fund to be managed by the Local Government Ministry.
“We are aware that the plastic waste recycling fund has not been created even though money collected under the environmental tax could be more than GH₵ 65 million,” he said.
Mr Debrah said the Local Government Ministry had written to the Ministry of Finance awaiting their response, while a consultant had been contracted to draw the road map for the use of the fund.
He Government would continue to create an enabling environment for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to enhance businesses and job creation.
Mr Debrah said the Ministry was making strides in its quest of setting up more waste disposal sites and a follow-up would be made to the Finance Ministry.
He thanked the delegation for their efforts and commitment towards the establishment of fund, which he said was for the benefit of all.