07.09.2005 General News

Agambilla calls for corporal punishment ...

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... for those who litter the streets Accra, Sept. 7, GNA - Persons who litter the environment indiscriminately should be canned, Dr Gheysika Adombre Agambilla, Deputy Minister of Environment and Science, suggested on Wednesday. Dr Agambilla said "he was of the view that canning could be cost effective and would serve as deterrent to people who littered the streets."

He was speaking at a day's West African Sub-Regional stakeholders workshop on plastic waste management on the theme, "Plastic Waste: Threat or Opportunity" in Accra.

The workshop organised by Enterprise Works/VITA Ghana in collaboration with USAID, brought together participants from Ghana, Togo and Niger.

Dr Agambilla said plastic waste was one of the biggest challenges facing the nation and called for the strict enforcement of bye-laws and massive public education on waste management.

He called on metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to provide more litterbins at various vantage points to enable people discard plastic waste.

Dr Agambilla noted that the Government's subsidy for plastic waste collectors, pegged at 1,000 cedis per kilogramme of plastic, was inadequate and called for an increase to attract people to participate in waste collection.

He announced that the Ministry intended to establish a plastic waste management fund to manage plastic waste. This notwithstanding, the Ministry, he said, was currently looking at means of using biodegradable plastics that could take about 30 days to degrade.

Mr Atsu Titiati, Country Programme Manager, Enterprise Works/VITA, Ghana, said plastic waste management had become topical and there was the need for practical solutions.

He said most people saw plastic waste management as a threat but noted that when managed properly could be marketable. Mrs Mina Quaye, Officer in Charge of Monitoring and Evaluation of Enterprise Works/VITA, Ghana, said last July, the outfit undertook a baseline survey in Ghana, Togo and Niger on plastic waste management with 200 respondents.

According to Mrs Quaye the survey revealed that causes of the plastic waste problem in the three countries were lack of education on waste management, lack of enforcement of bye-laws, ineffective waste management, lack of recycling schemes, lack of good industrial and commercial practices and attitudes of the people.

She said plastic waste when well managed could bring about foreign exchange through exports, increase revenue, facilitate shopping and promote health.

Mrs Quaye said banning the use of plastics would not solve the problem and called for massive education campaign in schools and the media on the dangers of indiscriminate disposal.

She said the knowledge of recycling of plastic was high and urged the Government to put in place structures that would enable individuals use the recycled products in manufacturing other products.

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