Dr Kwaku Afriyie, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, says government is committed to transforming plastic waste from a menace to a valuable resource.
Pursuant to that, he said the various governmental bodies working with actors in that space had begun steps, including developing a comprehensive action plan, to realise that goal.
Dr Afriyie said this when addressing members of the Plastic Waste Collectors Association at separate meetings in Accra as part of a series of engagement with stakeholders to know their challenges and find the appropriate solutions.
The visit took the Minister and his entourage to the Kpone Landfill Site, where about 400,000 tonnes of plastic waste are said to be collected daily to recycling facilities, including the Spaceplast Company Limited, which recycled about 50,000 tonnes of plastic daily.
They also visited the La Plastic Collectors Association to engage with the members.
The Minister had already visited a number of plastic waste processing companies, which were recycling the materials into economical and eco-friendly building materials, packaging and household items.
The Government recognised the efforts of the plastic collectors in curbing the menace of indiscriminate waste disposal in the country, he said.
Dr Afriyie said they played a significant role in promoting proper sanitation, and the Ministry, in collaboration with other stakeholders, would streamline the sector to become more vibrant.
He urged actors in the value-chain to team up with government to rid the country, especially marine bodies, of plastic pollution.
Waste from plastics continued to affect the country’s development agenda, especially in the health and tourism sectors, he said, adding:
“This is why the government is shifting the discourse and narrative of seeing waste as a resource for development, which must be embraced by all and sundry.”
All our discussions are towards solutions mapping for sound waste management in the country.”
Mr Elvis Oppong, the Chairman of the Plastic Waste Collectors Association, complained about logistical constraints, low pricing, and inadequate recycling outlets as some of their challenges.
“Because there are few companies buying plastics, our members end up transporting the waste from far places to the company to sell. This attracts high transport costs especially as fuel prices are going up almost on a daily basis,” he said.