Akka Kappa Cares "Recycling In Ghana"3 April , 2019 367
Did you know Recycling is practically a non-existent practice in Ghana?
The issue of waste in Ghana has deteriorated steadily over the years causing dire consequences for the environment. Ghana produces a whooping amount of waste, over 1.7 million tons of plastic a year! Accra alone produces about 300 tons daily! A large amount of this waste is disposed of via landfills, but an equal amount also ends up in drainages, on the streets or is incinerated. This practice leads the release of poisonous gases into the atmosphere leading to serious consequences for the environment. Out of the 1.7 million tons only 2% of waste produced annually ends up recycled.
Recycling is practically a non-existent practice in Ghana. Though education on the concept of recycling has commenced, Ghana lacks the technology, the expertise and the knowledge for effective recycling. The practice of disposing of recyclable waste with non-recyclable ones has been a major problem for the industry because many people do not have the basic knowledge of recycling. Those who do and would implement them given the chance, do not have the means or structures in place to effect such change.
There are a few recycling plants that have cropped up within the last several years in Ghana and more waste materials are produced than these plants can handle. They operate to the best of their abilities and are hurdled with problems such as inadequate waste collectors and the practice of not sorting waste materials at the source.
The mass education of the general public on recycling is the key in rectifying this situation. This education process needs to be started from young children at home and in schools in order to create the right mindset towards waste management. Ghanaians need to know that sooner or later landfill spaces will run out causing disastrous consequences. To make matters worse, waste dumped in landfills emit toxic chemicals into the earth. Decomposing organic materials also emit greenhouse gases that eventually leads to global warming. These facts are well known among the Western world, why can’t we learn from those who have already gone through this?
Initiatives by local processors such as Zoomlion Ghana, Thrashy Bags, Environment360 and Netplast Ghana show promise towards more cohesive integration. These companies process and recycle waste from households, hotels, restaurants and industries. While it may not be one of the most popular business ideas out there, they are learning to create jobs for hundreds of people alongside making the environment safe for all of us.
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