President launches national initiative to combat plastic waste
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched a national initiative geared at addressing and managing the environmental impact of plastic waste in the country.
The Ghana National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP), a collaboration with the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), will tackle the leakage of plastic into Ghana’s oceans and waterways.
GPAP, an alliance with the World Economic Forum, aims to tackle the pollution of the planet from plastics by engaging governments, regional bodies, international organizations, businesses, as well as civil society organizations, to avert the growth in global plastic pollution by 2025.
President Akufo-Addo said the menace of plastic pollution, one of the most pressing challenges facing the world, is a threat to the survival of the human race and “that is why confronting this challenge demands the active partnership and cooperation of all nations.”
Ghana, he said, with the launch of the national programme, is taking “a historic step forward in our environmental stewardship, our sustainable growth, and our vision for the future.”
The GPAP is supported by the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom, the Coca Cola Company, Pepsi Cola and Nestle. With Ghana formally joining the GPAP, it has become the first African nation and the second country to align with the initiative to eradicate plastic waste and pollution worldwide.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering which included sustainable development advisers, policy makers, business leaders, youth representatives, entrepreneurs and waste management experts, that on assumption of office in 2017, he tasked the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to develop a strategy to combat the challenges with the management of plastics.
The directive resulted in the National Plastics Management Policy that has attracted the attention of the global community and has led to the partnership with the World Economic Forum. The Policy not only focuses on how to address plastic waste but takes a holistic view of the entire value-chain of plastics, with the aim of using it as a vehicle for sustainable development.
The policy seeks to reduce the use of plastics and promote their replacement with green alternatives.
The President expressed the hope that the partnership with GPAP would enable Ghana achieve its policy objectives and vision for a sustainable future.
“We are pleased to partner with the Global Plastic Action Partnership to bring together existing efforts, scale up these highly successful initiatives and fast-track our progress towards a collective goal to achieve zero leakage of plastic waste into our oceans and waterways,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo applauded also the initiatives being made by private sector operators, to put up recycling plants to create bio-fuels that are being used as alternatives to fossil fuels.
He commended the efforts of civil society organizations and the media to raise awareness of efficient waste management, and existing opportunities for waste recovery in the country adding that Government was ready to partner with all stakeholders to drive investment and research into the area.
“I believe that there is the need for significant behavioral change, and I am happy with the prominence that has been given to it in the implementation of the draft National Plastics Management Policy. Ghana, after this process, will make best efforts to be a model for other countries in the region and on the continent on issues related to plastic management,” he said.