Accra, May 18, GNA - Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Friday cautioned that government would introduce stringent measures against the production of plastic materials if no substantial improvement in attitude was recorded after six months of nationwide public education on its menace.
He said the current situation where only 30 per cent of waste was deposited at the country’s landfill sites leaving about 70 per cent scattered all over was unacceptable and impacted negatively on the national economy.
Vice President Mahama sounded this caution when he launched a plastic waste management programme on the theme: “From plastic waste to cash” in Accra.
The awareness programme which is organised by the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology (MEST) and other collaborators would among other issues educate the public on the dangers of plastics, provide alternative uses of the plastics that could open up job opportunities for the jobless and create awareness on suitable waste disposal systems in communities.
Vice President Mahama said government would soon come out with alternative means of bagging goods as a discouragement to the daily use of plastics for all kinds of wrappings and called for collective efforts to achieve those goals.
He said government would also designate waste collection points throughout the country and called on people to take advantage of the opportunity to make money as those points would pay for all the plastics and other allied services.
Madam Sherry Ayitey, Minister for Energy, Science and Technology said plastic waste impacted negatively on all aspects of human life by affecting health, agriculture and the entire ecology and called on other stakeholders to play their roles responsibly to reduce its threat in the coming years.
She expressed her outfit’s readiness to work effectively with collaborators who were ready to comply with all the country’s environmental laws to rid the country of filth and other negative repercussions it had on growth and development.
The Minister said government had allocated a substantial amount of resources to stem the growing indiscriminate disposal of waste adding “We can only achieve that goal to make Ghana better if all stakeholders are ready to comply with the rules and regulations that are clearly spelt out in the 1992 constitution of Ghana “.
Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, a Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development said the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies were saddled with numerous developmental challenges and therefore needed partnership from other stakeholders to drastically reduce the phenomenon.