A Ghanaian plastic manufacturing company has taken a giant step to deal with the plastic waste menace in the country.
Blowplast Industries Limited has ordered a recycling plant and its accessories worth more than $2 million (¢21 billion) from Italy and Austria to begin the recycling process by the end of February next year.
The Managing Director of the company,Mr Manoj Lakhiani, said the plant would be able to recycle about 50 per cent of water sachet waste generated daily throughout the country.
He said all was set for a major recycling process in the country soon and explained that the equipment had to be designed to meet customer specification because an advanced technology was required to recycle waste collected from the street.
Mr Lakhiani said the company,which is also a member of the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association (GPMA),had already acquired a 10-acre land in Tema to house the plant and also use part of it as a warehouse to keep the waste material.
He said the company would reward those who collected the plastic waste for the plant and indicated that since the company alone could not collect raw materials for the plant,it would solicit support from Ghanaians to help collect the plastic waste from the streets.That labour,he said,would be paid for.
“I cannot do this by myself.I need the support of the people to join hands with the company in the beautification of the country,” Mr Lakhiani said.
He said the plant would be the first big recycling plant in West Africa with such advanced technology,saying that what most companies currently engaged in the recycling of waste did was to recycle materials generated from their own factories.
Mr Lakhiani said nobody was engaged in recycling of waste collected from the streets and noted that his company would specialise in the recycling of used,contaminated water sachets from all over the country,which would involve an expensive recycling process comprising collection,bailing,drying,densifying,pelletising and dehumidifying.
He said it would be a continuous process of recycling until the end products of plastic granules,which would be moisture-free,were attained.
Mr Lakhiani said the plant also required a very high level of electricity consumption to run,saying that apart from the machinery cost,the running cost was also highly expensive.
He explained that with Ghana's population of about 25 million people,about 40,000 metric tonnes of sachets were thrown on the streets daily,adding that the company would be able to recycle 20,000 metric tonnes daily,thereby reducing the stress on sachet water producers who were being threatened with the ban of their products.
Mr Lakhiani expressed the hope that the government would provide centres for those who ventured into the recycling of plastic waste to motivate other investors to venture into that business to deal with the plastic waste menace.
He said apart from creating employment,the plant would promote an eco-friendly environment to enhance the tourism business in the country,noting that “most important,the protection of our environment is the best gift we can give our future generations”.
Mr Lakhiani expressed the hope that by the end of next month,the company would have engaged people to start collecting the waste sachets from the streets in readiness for the commencement of production activities early next year.