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24.02.2006 General News

Ghana imports plastic waste for recycling plants

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Accra Feb. 24, GNA - Due to Ghana's inability to dispose of plastic waste properly, the nation is now importing plastic waste from the United Kingdom for its recycling plants, Mr. Ebo E Botwe, president, Ghana Plastic Manufactures' Association (GMPA) said on Friday. Mr. Botwe, who did not disclose the amount spent on the importation said Ghana imported 24 tons of plastic waste every month costing the nation several million of cedis because most of the plastics wastes generated were contaminated and the recycling plant rejected them. Speaking at an educational and a clean up campaign for pupils at the St. Peters Lutheran School at Madina in Accra, Mr. Botwe explained that those imported from Europe were cleaner and hygienic than the from Ghana.

The campaign was to educate the children to inculcate the habit of keeping a clean environment at early ages.

He noted that since the collection of scraps had become a vibrant business in the country, the same could be extended to plastic waste. According to him, the collection of plastic waste was becoming a booming business all over the world citing Brazil as one of the countries which produced its currency from materials 75 per cent of which were made up of plastic waste and urged the children to take advantage of that.

He said plastic waste generated in the country had to be exported to China for washing before they could be recycled adding "that was expensive for any businessman."

He said the environment was becoming unattractive with litter and urged the public to change their attitude.

Mr. Botwe said though most plastics containers had inscription of "Tidyman" indicating the need to dispose of waste properly that had been ignored.

He further cautioned the pupils on the dangers of burning plastic waste and urged them to dump them in nearest bins.

He said the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) was expected to provide litter bins but said the assembly was constrained in terms of logistics and appealed to government for assistance.

He urged schools to form environmental clubs and initiate essay competitions on the environment, adding that the GMPA was ready to support schools with materials.

"Pupils should also educate their friends, parents, and siblings on the need to dispose of waste properly and ensure clean environment since cleanliness is next to God," he added.

He said the plastics had come to stay, since most items manufactured all over the world had plastic contents and advised that they should be disposed of properly.

Enumerating the benefits of plastic, Mr. Botwe said it could be used to insulate electricity cables, manufacture shoe soles and furniture among other things.

Mr. Botwe on behalf of the GPMA donated a wheelbarrow, brooms, plastic sacks and biscuits estimated at two million cedis for the schools clean-up exercise.

Mr. Reginald Dussi, headmaster said the school was saddled with sanitation problems because people who used the compound as routes litter and dump faeces indiscriminately causing a lot of nuisance. He expressed his appreciation to the GMPA for supporting them and promised to continue to educate the school on environmental cleanliness.