THE PRESIDENT of Ghana, 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, among other things, that plastics do not find their way into the country’s marine bodies.
At the launch of the initiative today, October 1, 2019, at the Labadi Beach Hotel, President Akufo-Addo said the threat of plastic pollution had become one of the most pressing challenges facing mankind today.
Considering the danger affecting the day-to-day activities of the human race, the President said confronting the plastic challenges demanded 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.
He said the results is the National Plastics Management Policy of Ghana, whose blueprint had attracted the attention of the global community, and had led us to an exciting partnership with the World Economic Forum.
Ghana’s Plastic Management Policy, the President said, was not focussed only on how to address plastic waste, but also took a holistic view of the entire value chain of plastics, and sought to achieve several objectives.
He said amongst the objectives were the development of a working circular economy framework for plastics in Ghana; reduction in Ghana’s reliance on the use of plastics and promotion of their replacement with green alternatives; nurturing of new business models for job creation throughout the value chain; development of systems and infrastructure across the country that will ensure that we are not littering our plastic waste, but using it as resource for value-addition; and ensuring that Ghana has a long-term and sustainable means of funding plastic waste management.
President Akufo-Addo expressed the confidence that through Ghana’s partnership with the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), progress “towards that collective goal, which is to achieve zero leakage of plastic waste into our oceans and waterways” be fast-tracked in Ghana.
The President, thus, pledged the full commitment of the Government of Ghana towards the successful implementation of the programme that would be outlined under the 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 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 and added that it should 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.”