The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has launched the Ghana National Plastics Action Partnership, which seeks to stop the growth of global plastic pollution, and also ensure, amongst others, that plastics do not find their way into the country’s marine bodies.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative on Tuesday, 1st October, 2019, at the Labadi Beach Hotel, President Akufo-Addo noted that the menace of plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing challenges facing mankind today.
With the menace affecting the day-to-day activities of the human race, the President indicated that confronting this challenge demands the active partnership and co-operation of all nations.
“When I took office in 2017, I requested the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, headed by its Minister, the globally acclaimed Ghanaian scientist, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, to develop an effective strategy to meet the challenges associated with the management of plastic waste in Ghana,” he said.
The President continued, “The result is the National Plastics Management Policy of Ghana, whose blue-print has attracted the attention of the global community, and has led us to this exciting partnership with the World Economic Forum.”
Ghana’s Plastic Management Policy, he explained, is not focussed only on how to address plastic waste, but takes also a holistic view of the entire value chain of plastics, and seeks to achieve several objectives.
Amongst them are to develop a working circular economy framework for plastics in Ghana; to reduce Ghana’s reliance on the use of plastics and promote their replacement with green alternatives; to nurture the development of new business models for job creation throughout the value chain; to develop systems and infrastructure across the country that will ensure that we are not littering our plastic waste, but using them as resources for value-addition; and to ensure that Ghana has a long-term and sustainable means of funding plastic waste management.
Through Ghana’s partnership with the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), President Akufo-Addo was confident that progress will be fast-tracked in Ghana “towards that collective goal, which is to achieve zero leakage of plastic waste into our oceans and waterways.”
The President, thus, pledged the full commitment of the Government of Ghana towards the successful implementation of the programme, that will be outlined under National Plastics Action Partnership (NPAP).
“Whilst the eventual outcome of NPAP will be owned by the people of Ghana, it is my expectation that its example will contribute to the resolution of this problem on the African continent, and be a shining example of the global achievements of GPAP,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo, in his address, also applauded the initiatives being taken by private sector operators to build plastic waste recycling plants, to create bio-fuels that are being used as alternatives to fossil fuels that pollute the environment, and produce building blocks that are used to construct roads and pavements.
He also acknowledged the efforts being made by civil society and the media to raise awareness of efficient waste management, and existing opportunities for waste recovery in our country.
“Government is ready to partner with all stakeholders, especially private sector and academia, to drive investment and research into this area. I believe that there is the need for significant behavioural change, and I am happy with the prominence that has been given to it in the implementation plan of the draft National Plastics Management Policy,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo thanked the Ghana Office of the United Nations Development Programme is to be saluted for facilitating the establishment of the “Waste Recovery Platform” for Ghana, and also the Governments of the United Kingdom and of Canada for their commitment and financial support for the GPAP initiative.
He reiterated that “Ghana, after this process, will make best efforts to be a model for other countries in the region and on the continent on issues related to plastic management.”