The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng says the rate at which plastics is patronized in the country will make it unrealistic for government to place an outright ban on the use of plastics.
According to him, government is not turning a deaf ear to calls from some quarters to place an outright ban on plastics.
Instead, a better consideration of the economic use of plastics in the country makes such calls unattainable and thus a need for a new direction to address the menace.
He said, after several reflections on the situation, government has no plans of banning the use of plastics, since it is not the ideal solution to the plastic nuisance which has engulfed the country.
“Banning of plastics in the country was not the best option and we have to look at new areas of dealing with the situation.
What we need is a behavioural change and if you say behavioural change is not going to solve the problem, then I must indicate to you that an outright ban will equally not solve the problem” he explained
Speaking at the Meet-the-Press series organized by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, Prof. Frmpong-Boateng revealed that rather, a new policy to regulate and manage its usage to ensure appropriate usage of plastic waste had been developed and awaiting cabinet approval.
He said a final draft of the policy document with its implementation plan has been submitted to cabinet pending approval.
Prof. Frimpong noted that the new policy was developed based on five principal areas including, encouraging behaviour change towards sustainable plastics management, easing strategic planning and cross-sectorial collaboration as well as accelerating innovation and transition towards a circular economy.
He explained that the aim of the new policy is to reorient and redirect the focus on banning plastic as the ultimate means to dealing with plastic mismanagement in the country
In addition, he stated that an account for plastic levy had been opened at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to fund all the various programmes targeted at plummeting the peril of plastic waste in the country.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng disclosed that the programmes outlined in the new policy included the establishment of collection, recovery, recycling and remanufacturing targets.
He further mentioned that the new policy would ensure an updated curriculum is adopted in schools, ensure that a national communications and education strategy is established, encourage alternative materials, promote local research and development in plastic management and also develop a resource mobilisation tactic.
Meanwhile, the Minister expressed optimism in the impact of a National Awareness Creation programmes which has been carried out in Accra, Takoradi and Tamale to educate the public on the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act of 2016, Act 917.
Story by: David Quaye|universnewsroom.com