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Calls for plastic ban need serious attention

botchway May 28, 2019

A group of citizens have petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo to place a progressive ban on plastics.
The group, the Green Advocates Alliance, urged the President to begin the ban by September 2019.
According to the group, the ban on plastics would be a demonstration of the government’s commitment to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
The Chronicle would like to add its voice to this call on the grounds that it is clear that Ghana has not yet developed the capacity to manage plastic waste.
We are convinced that most Ghanaians agree to claims that there hasn’t been any major step or stride taken in curtailing the treacherous consequences of the mismanagement of plastic waste in Ghana.
The Chronicle recalls that in August 2017, Kenya placed a ban on plastic bags, along with a four-year prison term or fine of $40,000 for flouting the ban.
Tanzania also plans to ban the production of plastic bags, importation, sale and use of all single-use plastic bags by July, to help tackle pollution from non-biodegradable waste.
To us at The Chronicle, Ghana can go the same way, as the two east African neighbours by partly banning or taxing single-use plastic bags.
We strongly believe Ghana must make a formal commitment to phase out the single-use of non-biodegradable plastics and the time is now.
Let us not lose sight of the fact that non-biodegradable plastics have been identified by the United Nations as one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges.
The world body further estimates that of the 9 billion tonnes of plastic the world has produced, only 9 percent has been recycled; a scenario that should be alarming for environmentalists to urgently fashion out solutions back home.
It for the above reasons that The Chronicle would continue to drum home the ban on plastics, starting with polythene bags, to curb the flooding menace in our cities.
The Chronicle recalls that at the World Environment Day commemoration held in Accra on 5th June 2018, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng said government will come up with a policy to turn plastic waste into resources, because we are not ready as a country to ban plastic now.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng believes that though plastic has been banned in some African countries, Ghana must study our situation critically, before taking any action because galamsey and illegal mining have polluted our rivers and most people rely on sachet water for drinking.
The comment by the minister paints a worrying picture but we are very optimistic that where there is a will, there will always be a way out of this plastic mess.

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