GRIPE, ASA Nwura embark on community plastic buyback project in Effiakuma

Science Plastic Project
Plastic Project

The Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) in partnership with ASA Nwura, and Centre for Volunteerism and Social Transformation (CENVAST), has embarked on a community plastic buyback project at Effiakuma in the Western Region.

The project is one of the initiatives of GRIPE, designed to reach low-income communities based on the understanding that people could exchange plastics with cash by separating and selling their post-consumer plastic waste.

It is being implemented with support from Nedie/WASH TV, and the Effia Kwesimintsim Municipal, a statement from GRIPE, copied to the Ghana News Agency said.

During the project, volunteers visited households and local shops to create awareness on proper disposal and segregation of waste and encouraged people to take their plastics to a buyback center to be weighed for monies and other rewards.

In total, 150 residents participated in the exercise, which lasted eight hours and the project team recovered about 2,248kgs of plastics (pure water sachet-LDPE and PET bottles).

The plastics would be washed, crashed into flasks, and recycled into other useful everyday products, the statement said.

Ms Louisa Kabobah, the Project Manager on GRIPE, speaking at the sideline of the event, said GRIPE’s mission was to implement recycling and second-life solutions that reduced the impacts of post-consumer plastics on the environment.

GRIPE implemented its initiatives through education and advocacy, data and research, and multi-stakeholder collaborations, she said, adding that the plastic buyback initiative aimed to engage communities on the sustainable handling and management of waste, keeping the environment cleaner, feeding families, and empowering communities especially the youth.

This is to enable them to see waste as a resource to take advantage of the many waste management job opportunities currently available within the plastic value chain in the country.

Ms Kabobah urged community members not to relent in their efforts towards keeping their surroundings cleaner, greener and safer.

She challenged Effiakuma to collect even more LDPE and PET plastics to earn rewards.

On his part, Mr Benjamin Turkson, the Founder of ASA Nwura, said plastics only became problematic when they were poorly managed.

“We believe that there are much untapped benefits along the value chain that can be harnessed to create a simultaneous social, economic, and environmental benefits. Our drive as ASA Nwura is to beat down plastic pollution drastically through a shared responsibility and an incentive-based manner that could create income streams for low-income households.

“We attribute this success to our partners and the selfless volunteers and the people of Effiakuma who made this possible.”

Mr George Dorgbetor, Executive Director, CENVAST, lauded the Community Plastic Buyback project as a good initiative that contributed to retrieving several metric tonnes of plastic waste from the environment for recycling, which would have clogged the gutters and contributed to flooding.

He said the volunteers’ contribution in promoting a clean environment and education on sanitation was significant, as the focus of CENVAST was to promote the values of volunteering and empower more people especially the youth to develop the culture of service to support community development.

One of the waste pickers who joined the event said: “I have been collecting plastics for 25 years now. The initiative is a laudable one as it is educating us on proper plastic waste management and giving us the women the opportunity to make additional money from the plastics we collect to support our families”.

The Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) is an industry-led coalition formed under the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) with a stake in the plastics sector to integrate sustainable waste management solutions, particularly around plastics.

GRIPE was launched in 2017 by FanMilk PLC, Guinness Ghana Limited, Unilever Ghana Limited, Nestle Ghana Limited, PZ Cussons, Dow Chemical Limited, Voltic Ghana Limited, and Coca Cola Bottling Company.

The Accra Brewery Limited, Pernod Ricard, Mohinani Group, KGM Industries Limited, and Finepack Industries Limited, have since joined the coalition.

ASA Nwura is a waste recovery start-up company based in the Western Region that is setting up an incentive-based scheme for plastics.

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