Ms. Sally Biney, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)has said waste recycling is the surest way of protecting the environment while making money for the nation.
She said that it was important to have a proper waste collection system strategically located at vantage points for recycling.
Ms. Biney stated during the launch of the Coliba Recycling Services a leading Ghanaian Plastic Waste Recycling Company, committed to environmental protection and Engen Ghana Limited specialists in the supply of refined petroleum products plastic waste recycling project at Pokuase.
The project involves strategically installing high-capacity, high-impact recycling bins at all of Engen Ghana’s 42 Filling Stations across the country which will serve as collection points for people to conveniently drop off their plastics and receive some incentives.
The EPA Regional Director commended the partnership between Engen Ghana and Coliba Recycling on the initiative and pledged the agency’s support to the course to abate plastic waste pollution in the country.
Ms. Biney said that recycling plastic waste is a laudable initiative that will result in job creation, boost the country’s economy, reduce sanitation-related diseases, improve aesthetics, reduce flooding, reduce air, land, and water pollution, and generally improve quality of life.
She said it was therefore eminent that citizens safeguard the environment by promoting behavioural change towards plastic waste generation and improper disposal.
She added that to have clean air, clean water, and fertile lands for agriculture and other developments, it is important to apply the ‘4Rs’, that is to ensure that we “Reduce, Reuse, Recover, and Recycle” plastics to protect the environment for posterity.
Ms. Biney also noted that a few sections of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana mandates all citizens to protect the environment, quoting a provision made under Article 41 of the Constitution which says “every citizen must protect and safeguard the environment” which implies that environmental protection is everybody’s business.
She also indicated that the EPA Act, 1994, (Act 490) mandates the agency to safeguard the environment which reflects in its mission to co-manage, protect, and enhance the nation’s environment.
It also mandates the agency to seek common solutions to global environmental problems such as waste mismanagement, including plastic waste, and the implications on the environment for which reason the Engen Ghana-Coliba Recycling project is born.
Mr. Brent Nartey, Engen Ghana Managing Director said it was based on the company’s commitment to ensure continual improvement in Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality management and protection of the environment by leveraging on technology.
He said Engen Ghana which deals in other petroleum downstream-related activities considered the importance of plastics, as well as the challenges resulting from its misuse, cannot be overemphasized, adding that “we use plastics every day, and everywhere and dispose of them sometimes indiscriminately.
“As a result, we increasingly litter plastics waste around endangering the environment, polluting water bodies, clogging our drains, and when burnt, release toxic substances that create air pollution, harmful to humans and animals”.
Mr. Nartey encouraged all Ghanaians to be responsible in their waste disposal and be good corporate citizens to help manage and mitigate the growing nuisance of plastic pollution, especially in the cities.
He said recycling is one sustainable solution to curbing plastic waste however, Ghana’s underdeveloped recycling sector coupled with the inability of the traditional waste collection services to provide sufficient recycling services due to financial constraints has been a major hurdle.
Mr. Ebow Botwe, Representative of the Plastic Manufacturers Association also encouraged individuals and corporate organizations to support the recycling businesses because they are not profitable ventures but for passion-driven individuals who have the environment at heart.