EPA takes steps to combat plastic pollution in Western Region

Plastic Pollution Crisis
Plastic Pollution Crisis

Mr Moses Kpebu, Deputy Director of the Tarkwa Regional Office of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), says the Agency has taken various steps to combat plastic pollution in the Western Region.

He said: “We have implemented environmental education programmes in schools and industries, and also ensured that our permit conditions included the safe and environmentally friendly treatment of plastic waste.”

The Deputy Director said this at Bogoso in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality, when the Agency marked the 2023 World Environment Day (WED) on the theme: “Solutions to Plastic Pollution.”

In addition, he said, the Agency had actively promoted the three ‘Rs’ Reducing, Reusing and Recycling of waste management.

The WED is celebrated on 5th June each year, with the focus of improving global awareness and taking positive environmental action to protect the environment.

According to Mr Kpebu, the EPA played the lead role in environmental control, as well as enforce regulations to protect the environment from pollution and degradation.

He pointed out that millions of these plastics found their way into water bodies, which invariably ended up in the sea.

“By way of destroying the natural ecosystem of animals both in the sea and on land especially the single use plastics. We can also see a lot of whales and other sea animals being washed ashore in recent times.

“We are also no longer seeing the vultures around as they used to be. When we ask school children to go for black soil for gardening all we gather is plastics”.

Plastic pollution is rapidly spiraling out of control, and the devastating impact it is having on the planet has forced them to make strides to take control of the situation, Mr Kpebu observed.

The Deputy Director stressed that the indiscriminate burning of waste -heavy machinery tyres in their local environment had been one of the challenges facing the EPA.

“Currently we have blocked the source of these tyres to a point. Discussions concerning the best solutions on how to treat them are ongoing and we will hopefully rollout control strategies and treatment options soon for businesses and individuals”, he said

In a speech read on behalf of Mr Peter Akwetey-Bamfo, Agriculture and Environment Officer at Ghana Education Service, he explained that plastic bottles may take up to 1,000 years to degrade.

He said it was estimated that more than 300 million tonnes of plastic were produced each year.

Mr Akwetey-Bamfo said “When plastic comes into contact with heat it releases chemicals which when consumed are extremely toxic. It is preferable to use metal water bottles, launch box and jute bag instead of plastics”.

Mr Isaac Torhxe, Environmental Officer, on his part mentioned that the damages plastic has done to the planet was immeasurable, since plastic has degraded places where humans could not, added that, “We cannot reverse the damaging effects of plastic, but we can only reduce plastic pollution by discontinuing its use.

Some students who interacted with the Ghana News Agency after the programme, said to secure a sustainable future for all, they would educate their friends and families from henceforth about the consequences of littering the environment with plastics.

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