’Government will come up with a policy to turn plastic waste into resources because we are not ready as a country to ban plastic now, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has said.
At the World Environment Day commemoration held in Accra on 5th June 2018, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation said there had been a lot of suggestions from many quarters that some African countries had banned plastics so Ghana should do same.
In response however, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, who doubles as the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce against Illegal Mining discarded such recommendations and said, illegal mining operations have contaminated the water bodies and a lot of Ghanaians now rely on sachet water for drinking.
He again stated that there is still active smuggling of plastics going on in such countries despite the ban and to prevent such occurrences from happening in the country, government needs to take careful steps.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said: ‘’sometimes we are told that plastic has been banned in some African countries and therefore we should do the same in Ghana but we have to study our situation and know that through galamsey and illegal mining we have polluted our rivers and most people rely on sachet water for drinking. We don’t want to be banning things we can’t enforce. I know a few countries that sensibly have banned plastics but if you go there now, there’s active smuggling into the country where they claim to have banned it. We don’t want that in Ghana. We want to take a good decision we can enforce properly’’.
The minister has therefore called for the replacement of plastic courier bags and straws used in various restaurants with cotton to avoid excessive generation of plastic waste saying; ‘‘we can go to the shopping mall with cotton bags instead of plastic bags. If you sew your cloth and a piece is left, we should fashion that into a bag and use it. I don’t see why we should still continue using straw in drinking soft drinks. We should use the straw our almighty God created for us.