Sustainable Management of Plastic Waste in Ghana
Economic development and changes in consumer habits are producing increasingly complex waste streams in Ghana that include a significant amount of plastic waste. In view of the ineffective waste disposal structures, the lack of overall strategies and insufficient environmental awareness, it is common practice in Ghana to incinerate such waste in the open air or to dispose of it directly in the environment. This puts a huge strain on ecosystems.
A few projects on how to deal with plastic waste are already being carried out in Ghana. However, the individual stakeholders are still working separately from one another and their activities are not coordinated.
International exchange, transferring practical knowledge and promoting dialogue between the various stakeholders at national level can provide important stimuli for development processes and contribute to further developing capacities for dealing with plastic waste sustainably in Ghana.
The project aims to strengthen the specialist capacities for managing plastic waste in the relevant Ghanaian institutions, as well as in the private sector, communities, and civil society organisations in Ghana. In doing so, the project helps to develop an environmentally and resource-friendly recycling management system.
The project is helping establish sustainable economic partnerships between North Rhine-Westphalian and Ghanaian companies, as well as strengthening the green economy addressed at Rio+20. Additionally, the project contributes to protecting terrestrial ecosystems as outlined in the 15th Sustainable Development Goal.
To achieve these objectives, the following three measures are to be implemented:
- As an initial measure, a stakeholder forum on sustainable management of plastic waste in Ghana will be organised in cooperation with the Ghanaian Ministry of Environment. This forum will aim to network the various stakeholders in Ghana and to analyse the requirements. During the event, the new strategy on dealing with plastic waste will be presented to the Ghanaian Ministry of Environment and discussed with the stakeholders.
- As a second measure, plans are in place to design and implement a one-week training programme in North Rhine-Westphalia on sustainable management of plastic waste. Up to 20 representatives from public institutions, the private sector, civil society and the media in Ghana will be invited to participate in the programme. The programme intends to clarify the responsibilities and required skills in recycling management. It will also aim to identify specific options for collecting and recycling plastic waste and to demonstrate possible applications. For this purpose, visits to the relevant public institutions, associations and companies in North Rhine-Westphalia are planned.
- As a third measure, there are plans for a pilot project in Ghana on collecting and processing plastic waste. In this project, the aim is to cooperate with the Oforikrom-Dagomba Line Scrap Dealers Association in Kumasi. In an initial step, a viable business model for collecting and trading in plastic waste is to be developed and then tested as part of the pilot project with the Oforikrom-Dagomba Line Scrap Dealers Association. Furthermore, training is planned for its members to enable them to sort and process plastic waste in a professional manner. An additional aim is to procure various materials and equipment to set up the plastic waste collection and processing plant in Kumasi.
Partners and Stakeholders
- Ghanaian Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI)
- Oforikrom-Dagomba Line Scrap Dealers Association