BY RAMSON HAYFORD
THE NATIONAL Reuse and Recyclers’ Association (NARRA) has called for the formulation of a Resource Recovery and Circular Economic Policy for Ghana.
Speaking on the sidelines of a sensitization seminar organized by NARRA under the auspices of the DANIDA, USAID and the European Union-sponsored Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund Phase III at the Windy Bay Hotel in Winneba in the Central Region, the General Secretary of NARRA, Mr. Eugene Aidoo, explained that the world faced a number of structural challenges that needed urgent policy attention.
“Phenomena like global warming, climate change, carbon emissions, resource exploitation, population growth, urbanization and waste generation are all competing for appropriate policy interventions across the world. Whereas environmental and social challenges demand increasing attention, policy initiatives have not really kept pace with the growth in the scale of these challenges.
“Rapid population growth and urbanization and their attendant pressures on resource utilization and waste creation have made it imperative for nations to begin to explore more innovative and sustainable ways of maximizing the benefits of production and consumption processes,” he said.
Mr. Aidoo added that the current linear model of production based on “a take, make, and dispose approach, which relies heavily on exploitation of virgin natural resources and disposal of wastes and emissions, appeared increasingly outdated and unsustainable.
“Advanced regions of the world such as Europe and parts of Asia are beginning to adopt the idea of a Circular Economy (CE) in pursuit of a more sustainable use of natural resources which impose progressively less demand for virgin raw materials.
“Ghana must seriously consider this paradigm shift by formulating an appropriate National Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Policy for our beloved motherland. Times are changing at a frightening speed and we need to position ourselves in a way that reflects a deep understanding of these new dynamics and points our country in a direction of sustainable resource utilization,” he said.
The president of NARRAMr. John Tetteh Commey, said there was the absence of Waste Resource Recovery and Circular Economy policy in Ghana to help industries and firms to initiate appropriate programmes and plans that enhance their efforts to collaborate in an efficient manner that promote the exchange of by-products for further production processes.
Mr Tetteh-Commey explained that principle of waste as material-in-transition (MINT), as espoused in the Revised National Environmental Sanitation Policy 2010, laid some foundation for the formulation of a circular economy policy which he explained as essentially “an economy in which economic activities derive value under the conditions that an existing resource stock within the system is continuously re-circulated to maintain its maximum value and utility over time, and fluctuations in that stock are in balance with the environment, thus enabling the viable and sustainable use of resources.
“All activities during product life cycle stages are designed to circulate the resources, and support the preservation and regeneration of the biosphere so that hazardous outputs are eliminated and regional resources are not degraded.”
Mr Tetteh also explained that current policy structure in the waste sector had led to the loss of the enormous business opportunities and economic benefits for investors along the waste management value chain who could invest significantly into technological infrastructure and programs.