According to him a ban on the use of plastics will not be in the country’s best interest.
This is coming at a time when many Ghanaians and other stakeholders have called on the government to ban plastics to reduce plastic waste and also help tackle the waste generated.
But, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng said even though plastics pose a major environmental threat, a ban wouldn’t be prudent because Ghanaians heavily depend on it.
“Years ago, we were under pressure to ban plastics in Ghana because certain countries in Africa had banned plastics. We think that we should be careful about how we go about it. In banning plastics, we think that a wholesale ban will not be in the interest of Ghana because plastics are used everywhere. So I don’t think it will be prudent for Ghana to at this particular time ban something like sachet water because a lot of people depend on it. Plastics are not bad therefore we should learn how to manage plastics. When we do that, it will be a good thing for us. So, let’s look at the life cycle of plastics before we take a decision.”
Addressing the press in Accra today, Tuesday, Prof. Frimpong Boateng said that Ghana needs a proper plastic waste management strategy that will drastically reduce plastic waste.
He said he has submitted a plastic policy draft to Parliament for approval.
“So we have drafted a very important plastic policy which is not cast in iron. The policy has two components. We have a resource secretariat which will be run by people from my ministry and the sanitation and local government ministries and the private sector in plastic manufacturers and users. They will make sure that at every point in time everything will be monitored for steps to be taken”, he added.
The Minister further hinted that the government will soon introduce a plastic levy as a means of reducing the amount of plastic while generating income for the government.
“The Government has now set up the plastic levy. An account has been opened at the Bank of Ghana. With this, people who use plastics will be levied and that small amount of money will be deposited in this account so that it can be used for want we want to do such as plastic recycling.”
The United Nations has said that non-biodegradable plastics is one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges.
Of the 9 billion tonnes of plastic the world has produced, only 9 percent has been recycled, the UN has estimated.