Abosso Goldfields Limited (AGL-Damang Mine), together with school pupils drawn from its host community, last Friday marked World Environment Day on the theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution.”
The event saw the school pupils debate on the subject: “Should government ban single use plastic to reduce plastic pollution?”
The event was attended by workers from the Damang Mine, chiefs, Assembly members and some members of the community.
Speakers at the event raised concerned about how plastic had become a menace and suggested alternatives such as the re-introduction of paper bags.
Samuel Hadjor, Acting Operations Manager of Abosso Goldfields Limited, noted that materials that had proven to be a cause for concern and a threat to the environment were plastics. Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.
“Ghana generates around one million tonnes of plastic waste each year, but only recycles about 5% of it, while the rest end up in landfills, oceans, rivers, and ecosystems, harming wildlife, human health, and the climate.”
Today, he added, plastic clogs sewages and causes floods and our landfills leaches into the ocean. Micro-plastics find their way into the food we eat and the water we drink. Many plastic products contain hazardous additives, which may pose a threat to our health.
He, therefore, encouraged stakeholders to adopt a circular economy approach that minimizes waste and maximises reuse and recycling. “We need to support innovation and investment in alternatives to single-use plastic packaging and products, as well as raise awareness and educate consumers about the consequences of their choices and actions,” he said.
He said the governments, businesses, and individuals must collaborate to develop comprehensive waste management systems that prioritise recycling and the circular economy.
“Additionally, we must recognise the significance of community engagement and involvement in beating plastic pollution. Initiatives such as beach clean-ups, waste segregation programmes, and promoting sustainable lifestyles can have a profound impact on reducing plastic waste.
By fostering a sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship, we can inspire future generations to cherish and protect our planet,” Mr. Hadjor underscored.
He added that “as we celebrate World Environment Day, let us remember that we are the custodians of this planet, entrusted with the responsibility of preserving its beauty and diversity for future generations.
Beating plastic pollution demands our immediate attention, unwavering commitment, and concerted action. Together, we can create a world where plastic pollution is but a distant memory.”