Alexander Nyarko Yeboah, GNA
Tema, Nov. 8, GNA - The Head of the Waste Management Department, Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), has observed the damaging effects of plastic wastes on aquatic life.
Mr Solomon Noi made the observation on Wednesday during the launch of “Pick-it”, an Integrated Waste Pickers project at the seat of the Tema Traditional Council, Tema Newtown.
Mr. Noi, who was speaking on behalf of the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) said, “This project has come to us as a form of relief because it would help us to tackle the menace of plastic waste. Tema is low lying and close to the sea, as such water washes and wind blows plastics into the sea, and our fisher folks now catch plastics instead of fish.”
He informed that Tema produced about 800 metric tonnes of solid waste everyday, 26 per cent of which was plastic waste adding that “because of its lightness when you accumulate even two per cent, you have no idea how it would spread.”
He however observed that there was still no need to ban plastics, stating that, “It is not the banning of the product that would solve the problem. I think the way to go as a country is for us to prescribe an appropriate technology such as recycling to deal with plastic wastes.”
He informed of the TMA’s current engagement with an entity to transform human waste into fertilizers for agricultural purposes.
He was happy for the project because “this is coming to augment the Assembly’s effort in terms of technological innovations in order to deal with the solid waste menace.”
The Managing Director of Fan Milk Limited, Mr Stephen Couste’ observed that the official launch of the “Pick-it” and the inclusive recycling projects would contribute to increase plastic collection and improve the livelihood of waste pickers as well as improve waste management in Ghana which had social and environmental impact on the country.
He said the project provided opportunities for people in the material collection industry which would benefit many in future.
Mr. Couste’ indicated that “Pick-it” had a financing model and would also provide leadership for the project team and coordinate all the implementing partners during the piloting period to “enable the development of sustainable practices and enter the chain value from the collection of the waste till the recycling of it”.
He said the waste pickers who were placed within management, technical and organizational skills environment, would not only increase waste recovery but also secure their earnings.
Madam Cordie Aziz, the Executive Director, Environment 360, said her outfit would “work with community members in Tema Newtown over the next two and a half years for residents to recognize quality recyclable materials, create innovative collection systems, and help create awareness about the importance of a clean environment.
The Organizer, Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), Mr. Karim Saagbul, said, “Plastic collection and recycling have proved to be an effective way of waste management, and whilst the project is a response to government to address this challenge, it is our innovative approach that seeks to increase the volume of waste collection and also help in the promoting of recycling products of plastic waste.”
Mr. John Pwamang, the Deputy Executive Director of the Environmental protection Agency (EPA), said: “Plastics have become a very important part of our lives. We use them in various ways especially packaging, and governments over the years have been struggling about how to manage it.”
He observed the need for companies who deal with plastic wastes to have a payback system that rewarded those who picked and brought back these plastic waste to them.
The partners for the project included the Tema Traditional Council, Fan Milk Limited, WIEGO, Environmental 360, and the TMA.