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19.04.2005 Business & Finance

Plastic manufacturers propose sanitation levy

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Accra, April 19, GNA - The Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association (GPMA) on Tuesday proposed a charge of 0.1 per cent sanitation levy on all plastic imports at the points of entry.

Mr Ebo Botwe, President of GPMA, at a press conference in Accra said 50 per cent of the funds collected would be used to educate the general public through advertisement in the media, billboards and public address systems to highlight the importance of maintaining a clean environment.

He recommended that Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) should regulate, monitor and control the collection of the levy, which, in their calculation, would generate at least 1.25 billion cedis per month.

"The fund would also be used to create awareness of existing laws with respect to maintaining a clean environment as well as adherence and implementation of the law and to maintain big bins in public places on a daily basis."

He explained that the GPMA had come up with the proposal after the Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City met the GPMA Executive Council and put up a proposal for the collection of a levy of 11,000 cedis per kilogram on plastic raw materials to rid Accra of the 70 tonnes of waste generated daily.

Mr Botwe said the main issue was in respect of the litter of water sachet bags and yet the levy from government did not look to raise any direct contribution from the more than 2,000 sachet water producers who were more directly linked to the problem. He said the amount being proposed would mean that the plastic industry would be responsible to raise more funds in one month from this levy than the Ministry of Finance had allocated to the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs for the entire year.

"Apart from the water sachet found in the street there are many plastic wrappers that are also indiscriminately disposed of on the street."

He cautioned that when the heavy levy on plastic was implemented members of GPMA would be forced to shut down and the prices would go up. This would lead to loss of employment, revenue, confidence by international investors and capital flight.

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