The Head of the Economics Department of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Dr Kwami Adanu, has suggested that Ghana could adopt plastic incineration as a key part of any effective plastic waste management policy.
According to him, government must build incinerators in each district or locality of the country to cater for plastic waste.
He noted that among the various plastic waste management methods, plastic incineration has been identified as one of the easiest and cheapest ways of managing plastics globally.
Making a presentation on “Managing Plastic Waste in Ghana” at a round table discussion organised by the Environment and Natural Resource Research Initiative (ENRRI – EfD Ghana) on December 3, 2020 at GIMPA, Dr Adanu said, although incineration would help to reduce the volume of plastic waste in the country, it would not eliminate the problem entirely.
The discussion on managing plastic waste in Ghana was organised by the ENRRI-EfD Ghana in collaboration with GIMPA, with funding from the Swedish International Development Initiative (Sida).
ENRRI– EfD Ghana is one of the 15 centres under the Environment for Development (EfD) Initiative.
ENRRI is hosted by Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) and GIMPA, and brings together accomplished researchers with varied expertise in environmental economics from Ghana and elsewhere to conduct evidence-based research, and advise government and development partners on policy options for managing the environment and scarce natural resources.
For Dr Adanu, the menace of plastic waste had become threatening in many parts of the world and that Ghana needed to take urgent steps to deal with the situation.
On the issue of recycling, he said, Ghana needed to take advantage of the various options available to her and stop overly relying on recycling since a lot of the plastics were not recyclable, giving the technology Ghana had, noting that one could not continue to recycle the same plastic material after some time.
He also suggested that Ghana needed to build a more robust plastic waste markets to encourage people from not littering plastic waste in the country.
“…So this is the time for us to go for a fully-fledged plastic waste market which is decentralised across the country, supported by apps to help waste collectors and buyers to easily meet and trade plastic wastes,” he said.
Dr Adanu also called for more inter-agency collaboration in dealing with plastic waste management in the country, saying “because this is a massive problem that the nation is confronted with.”
He further called for funding into plastic waste management studies in order to enable the country to know and track the volume of plastic waste it generates on a daily basis.
“We have to fund more studies, particularly in the area of material flow so that we can estimate how many plastic wastes we are generating, because you cannot be putting together recycling plants when you don’t know how much plastic waste you are generating in the first place,” he noted.
The Director of ENRRI-EfD and Dean of the School of Research and Graduate Studies, Professor Wisdom Akpalu, in his welcome remarks, said ENRRI-EfD would continue to work to promote sound environmental practices in the country.
He said ENRRI-EfD as a research-focused organisation was poised in helping the country to deal some of its major environmental challenges.
The round table discussion was attended by policy makers, regulators, players in the plastics industry, people from the academia, and media practitioners.
It was aimed at creating the avenue for the participants to learn from each other, share ideas, and find innovative solutions in dealing with plastic waste management in the country.