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President Akufo-Addo Launches National Initiative To Combat Plastic Waste

President Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday launched a national initiative geared at addressing
and managing the environmental impact of plastic waste in the country.

The Ghana National Plastic Action
Partnership (NPAP), a collaboration with the Global Plastic Action Partnership
(GPAP), will tackle the leakage of plastic into Ghana’s oceans and waterways.

GPAP, an alliance with the World Economic
Forum, aims to tackle the pollution of the planet from plastics by engaging
governments, regional bodies, international organizations, businesses, as well
as civil society organizations to avert the growth in global plastic pollution
by 2025.

President Akufo-Addo said the menace of
plastic pollution, one of the most pressing challenges facing the world, was a
threat to the survival of the human race and “that is why confronting this
challenge demands the active partnership and cooperation of all nations.”

Ghana, he said, with the launch of the
national programme, was taking “a historic step forward in our environmental
stewardship, our sustainable growth, and our vision for the future.”

The GPAP is supported by the governments of
Canada and the United Kingdom, the Coca Cola Company, Pepsi Cola and Nestle.
With Ghana formally joining the GPAP, it has become the first African nation
and the second country to align with the initiative to eradicate plastic waste
and pollution worldwide.

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering
which included sustainable development advisers, policy makers, business leaders,
youth representatives, entrepreneurs and waste management experts, that on
assumption of office in 2017, he tasked the Minister for Environment, Science,
Technology and Innovation to develop a strategy to combat the challenges with
the management of plastics.

The directive resulted in the National
Plastics Management Policy that has attracted the attention of the global
community and has led to the partnership with the World Economic Forum. The
Policy not only focuses on how to address plastic waste but takes a holistic
view of the entire value-chain of plastics, with the aim of using it as a
vehicle for sustainable development.

The Policy seeks to reduce the use of
plastics and promote their replacement with green alternatives.

The President pledged Ghana’s commitment
NPAP and expressed the hope that the partnership with GPAP would enable Ghana
achieve its policy objectives and vision for a sustainable future.

 “Our
nation is flourishing with an extra ordinary wealth of expertise, knowledge,
innovations, social enterprise and willpower to take on this issue.

“Throughout every sector and level, from
local government to waste management pioneers and young student leaders,
Ghanaians are actively contributing to the fight against plastic pollution.

“We are pleased to partner with the Global
Plastic Action Partnership to bring together existing efforts, scale up these
highly successful initiatives and fast-track our progress towards a collective
goal to achieve zero leakage of plastic waste into our oceans and waterways,”
the President said.

President Akufo-Addo applauded also the
initiatives being made by private sector operators to put up recycling plants
to create bio-fuels that are being used as alternatives to fossil fuels.

He commended the efforts of civil society
organizations and the media to raise awareness of efficient waste management,
and existing opportunities for waste recovery in the country adding that
Government was ready to partner with all stakeholders to drive investment and
research into the area.

 “I
believe that there is the need for significant behavioral change, and I am
happy with the prominence that has been given to it in the implementation of
the draft National Plastics Management Policy.

“Ghana, after this process, will make best efforts
to be a model for other countries in the region and on the continent on issues
related to plastic management,” he said.

Source: GNA

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