Ghana must spend at least 4.5 billion U.S. dollars to eradicate plastic waste pollution in its oceans, according to the World Bank.
In a synopsis at an online roundtable discussion on unlocking the economy of the plastic sector in Ghana Thursday, the World Bank estimated that the country would need 1.3 billion dollars to finance a comprehensive system to eradicate plastic pollution and zero leakage of plastics into the country's oceans by 2040.
In addition, it said Ghana would need an operational investment of 3.0 billion dollars across the plastic value chain for sustainable waste eradication in the oceans.
The document adduced evidence to support the fact that plastic waste and marine litter negatively impacted lives in West African cities and coastal areas.
The impact, it noted, was related to the increased flood risks from drainages and rivers clogged by plastic bags and debris, as well as the economic impact on the revenue base for countries and communities relying on fisheries, shipping, and tourism sectors.
"In several West African cities, there is abundant evidence of significant health risks to the public and particularly to informal waste pickers and scavengers, resulting from the disposal of medical waste in drainages, dumpsites, and water bodies," the World Bank stated.
The synopsis added that, "The impact of plastic pollution goes far beyond harming the natural environment. It negatively affects economic growth, livelihoods, and quality of life."
Pierre Laporte, the World Bank Ghana Country Director, said in his opening remarks that the twin goals of the bank were eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity equitably and sustainably.
"The plastic pollution challenges these goals, not only by negatively impacting livelihoods like fisheries and tourism sectors but also by putting public health at stake with flooding risks exacerbated by clogged drains," Laporte added.
He stressed that the surge in single-use plastics occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, straining waste management efforts, "showcases the need to address the plastic issue."
"While Ghana has made progress in seeking solutions to the menace, there is still a need for greater capital investments from the private and public sectors on physical infrastructure such as collection, transfer, sorting, and recycling facilities," Laporte emphasised.