The University of Ghana Plastic Recycling Project (UGPRP) team has earned the admiration of the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Andrew Barnes, for their work, particularly on the campus of the University.
Gregory Andrews, in a Facebook post, said that he was “proud of the students of the University of Ghana for doing their part to protect the planet”
Nearly 100 metric tonnes of plastic collected
The project, since its inception two years ago, has collected nearly 100 metric tonnes of plastic waste.
In 2019 alone, about 50 metric tonnes of plastic were segregated by the team.
In 2020, however, the figure dropped highly to 13 metric tonnes of plastic, a situation Jayson-Julius Botchway, team leader for the project, attributes to the Covid pandemic.
He says that the closure of the University due to the pandemic led to fewer plastics being collected.
The Covid pandemic, he adds, made them shift focus to reaching out to homes and placing more bins at vantage points for collection.
For the first quarter of this year and with school now in session, Mr. Botchway says that 6 tonnes have been collected thus far.
Outreach to thousands of individuals
To ensure a successful implementation of the project, the team engages in outreach programmes to sensitize people on the need to segregate waste and develop a culture of recycling.
One of their most recent outreach programs was in October 2020 where it reached out to over 80 homes with over 600 hundred residents at the University of Ghana staff village.
That particular outreach, according to Julius-Jayson Botchway, was part of efforts to upscale the University of Ghana Plastic Recycling Project (UGPRP) to the staff residences of the University.
Periodically, the team reaches out to students to interact with them and promulgate the need to make use of the facilities provided by the project to segregate their plastic waste.
Julius-Jayson Botcway says that the team is working on “making the home recycling program very strange and sustainable”
He says that they have “started providing bags of water to homes as an incentive for them to increase their segregation efficiency”
Project to go nationwide
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, who initiated the project in 2018, is hopeful that it will birth a nationwide campaign on plastic waste recycling.
In his 2018 November Congregation address, he was confident that the project will be up-scaled to other sections of the main campus of the university and the satellite campuses.
The project is a subsidiary of the University’s Green Project under the auspices of the office of the vice-chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro. UGPRP is mainly made up of student volunteers. The project started in the 2018/2019 academic year with sensitization and collection of plastic waste created in the University.
UGPRP comes as an earnest call to action to safeguard the environment from plastic pollution.
The initiative collects and recycles plastic waste thereby giving second life to otherwise waste generated by the university populace.
Story by: Jeffrey Nyabor | universnewsroom.com