BY RAMSON ACQUAH-HAYFORD
THE NATIONAL president of the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association (GPMA), Mr Ebbo Botwe, has condemned the unfair treatment meted out to local plastic maunfacturers in the country.
At a National Strategic Planning meeting of GPMA in Accra, Mr Botwe said plastic regulators in the country were putting many unfair impediments in the way of local plastic producers.
“Why would local plastic manufacturers be compelled to produce biodegradable plastics and in addition pay high import duties on biodegradable additives and the Environmental Excise Tax (EET) all under the guise of fighting the national plastic waste menace?
“There are no mechanisms at the ports of entry to ensure that all imported flexi plastics comply with the national biodegradble flexi plastic policy and standard,” he said.
He added that “whereas the regulators are quick to crack the whip, if a local maufacturer ever flouted the biodegradable additive policy of Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, our ports are open free for importers to bring in non-biodegradable flexi plastics into the country.”
“As a result many plastic dealers have now resorted to importing flexi plastics to the detriment of not only the national plastic waste management effort but also the business viability of GPMA members,” he added.
According to Mr Botwe, the President’s vision to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa will be unattainable if the country does not follow through on commitments made toward fighting and winning the national battle against plastic waste in the country.
He said in line with curbing the scourge of plastic waste in the country GPMA had mounted a number of advocacy actions which resulted in government policy interventions at both the national and assembly levels.
The national vice president of GPMA, Nana Adawu XIII, also stated that the implementation of the Customs Excise Amendment 2013 (Act 863) to introduce a 10-per cent Environmental Excise Tax (EET) on plastic and plastic products had turned out to be another ploy by the government to stifle local plastic manufacturers.
Nana Adawu called on the media to begin to ask the appropriate government the hard questions as to why we are not winning the fight against plastic waste in Ghana.