BY RAMSON ACQUAH-HAYFORD
THE PRESIDENT of the National Reuse and Recyclers’ Association (NARRA), John Tetteh Commey, has stated that rapid population growth and urbanization and their attendant pressures on resource utilization and waste creation have made it necessary for Ghana to begin to explore more innovative and sustainable ways of maximizing the benefits of the production and consumption processes.
Speaking at a stakeholder’s workshop under the auspices of the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund for the formulation of a Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Policy for Ghana, Mr Commey said phenomena like global warming, climate change, and carbon emissions were all competing for appropriate policy interventions across the world.
He said further that environmental and social challenges demand increasing attention policy initiatives which can keep pace with the growth in the scale of these challenges.
Mr Commey explained that the 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.
He said “this is 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, 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.”
He 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relies heavily on exploitation of virgin natural resources and disposal of wastes and emissions, appeared increasingly outdated and unsustainable.
He stated that, “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. 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”.
At the workshop, Mr Tetteh Commey tasked the NARRA Dialogue Team to commence the necessary policy negotiations for the formulation of a Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Policy for Ghana.