Stakeholders have met in Accra to discuss practical ways of reducing the usage of single-use plastic among the populace in Ghana.
The first in a series of the two stakeholder engagements is being organised by CUTS Ghana, a research, advocacy and consumer protection organisation, in collaboration with Consumer International.
This is to raise consumer awareness on the adverse effects of single-use plastics on the environment and to significantly reduce its usage in the country.
A statement issued by CUTS, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said it was also to ensure people used fewer plastic bags and rather bought bags made of bio-degradable products such as paper or jute.
The stakeholder engagement formed part of a series of activities to mark this year’s Green Action Week, on the theme: “Community Sharing.”
The statement said other activities such as community engagement through outreach programmes, media campaigns and advocacy would be held in Kasoa in the Central Region.
In an address to open the discussion in Accra, Mr Appiah Kusi Adomako, the Country Director of CUTS, said with the increasing use of natural resources and the ever-growing volumes of waste generated, it was important that production and consumption of plastic waste changed fundamentally.
“There is the need to intensify grassroots and community engagement, especially among women, children and the youth to drum home the rippling effects of our unsustainable plastic consumption patterns and lifestyles,” he was quoted as saying.
“We are advocating behavioural changes in adopting best waste disposal and reduction practices among all sections of the population.”
“The Government, during its 2021 fiscal policy, introduced a consumption tax on fuel called plastic levy. The essence of the levy is to help the State mobilise revenue to clean the constant pile-up of plastic waste in the country.”
“This is a good initiative and I call on the Government to use the funds raised for the purpose for which it was mobilised.”
Mr Shadrack Nii Yarboi Yartey, the Communication and Advocacy Lead of CUTS Ghana, said plastic usage and disposal had not only become an environmental and health threat but also a financial burden on Ghanaians.
“In some cases, shops and businesses surcharge customers extra for polythene or other plastic bags. This comes at a cost to the consumer,” he was quoted as saying.
“The constant pile-up of single-use plastics around the capital and in gutters is a worrying trend. Pragmatic measures ought to be implemented by all to reverse this unsustainable culture; hence this campaign.”