We need to scale up plastic recycling business – EU

Mr Irchad Razaaly, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Ghana, has underscored the need to scale up the plastic recycling business.

He said the business could create investments and provide job opportunities to many.

Mr Razaaly said this at a at a clean-up exercise at the Regional Maritime University beach front organised by the United Nations, Plastic Punch, European Union and the Krowor Municipality as part of activities to mark World Ocean Day.

In 2008, the UN General Assembly decided that, as of 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day” to celebrate the role of the oceans in everyday life and inspire action to protect the ocean and sustainably use marine resources.

This year’s celebration is on the theme: “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean.”

Globally three billion people depend on oceans for their livelihoods whiles fisheries in Ghana support about three million livelihoods with over 100,000 fishers in the marine.

Plastics are non-biodegradable, hence, difficult to decompose.

More than 550 marine animals are affected by plastics; they eat them, get entangled and die in some cases.

The EU Ambassador said some companies in the country were creating jobs, making money and developing new technologies out of plastics.

He said plastics recycling created some advantage for the economic stance of the country.

‘‘On top of changing our behaviour, plastics recycling is a good business and can create investment and jobs which ultimately is something we all care about for the future and youth of Ghana,’’ he said.

Mr Razaaly said although some entrepreneurs were already in the plastic recycling business, more opportunities must be created to engage others.

He noted that the final products of recycled plastics were cheaper.

Mr Razaaly said the EU was promoting and supporting some Ghanian companies who were creating jobs.

He said the EU was concerned about the environment and issues related to plastic waste due to sustainability issues.

‘‘When it comes to sustainability, it’s about you and I, our children and common future. If we don’t care about the world in which our children will live, who will?’’ He asked.

Dr Angela Lusigi, Resident Representative, Ghana, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), called for financial support for actors and institutions contributing to a sustainable ocean economy.

The UNDP, she said, provided about $400,000 in grants to 11 local companies which were promoting waste recovery, resulting in jobs, businesses, revenue, and additional investments.

Dr Lusigi appealed to the public to promote environmental stewardship by changing their consumption and production habits, and adopt reusing, reducing and recycling waste.

Source: GNA

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