The Ban Non-Biodegradable Plastic Bags
The Ban Non-Biodegradable Plastic Bags
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''We have to wake up to the fierce urgency of the now."
-Jim Yong Kim
This petition will be as straightforward as possible; the aim is to ban plastic bags, specifically non-biodegradable ones. This automatically introduces the use of eco-friendly paper bags, eco-friendly reusable bags, and bio-degradable plastic bags.
We outlined majority of the problems caused by these plastics:
Per a study, Ghana generated 302, 192 kg/day of plastic waste in only 2010; this was more than 4 times generated in Kenya per day during the same time period and about 81% of it (about 244, 835 kg/day) was dumped in uncontrolled landfills. This did not include littered plastic waste.
As a result of incapable municipal waste management services, residents in urban areas regularly burn plastic waste releasing highly toxic fumes into the atmosphere. Around 28,000 premature deaths in Ghana each year are linked to air pollution according to the World Health Organisation.
Over a period of about 50 years 4 million people in Ghana have been affected by floods, resulting in economic damage worth more than USD$780 million. One of these floods being the June 3rd Disaster caused by blocked open gutters and an unfortunate fire.
Non bio-degradable plastic bags do not decompose within a suitable time period; one can take up to 1000 years to decompose. Almost all commercial food is wrapped in a form of plastic and is kept in a plastic bag to be sold, eventually discarded in the form of litter. Sachet water plastic is the most common form seen around because it is inexpensive and a source of drinking water.
The plastic waste produced for example in Accra (300 tonnes daily), has only less than 2 percent of it recycled; the waste that is actually collected. The rest could end up in the sea and other waters leaving fishermen with a problem; fish. When the fish become poisoned after ingesting plastic, it creates a food chain of poisoned fish eventually reaching humans, harming us in the long run.
According to health officials, the 2014 cholera outbreak hit 17,000 cases with 150 deaths. The main cause is the filth brought out from gutters and littered sites after a storm. Part of this filth being plastic bags that got choked in the open gutters.
Air pollutants including nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and VOCs could be released when the plastic is burnt and that is negative for farm production due to the risk of acid rain. About 86.11 percent of the air in Ghana is polluted and 91.67 percent of Ghana has drinking water pollution and inaccessibility.
Profesor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation:
" A year and a half ago, we were under pressure to ban plastics in Ghana because certain countries in Africa had banned plastics so we should do same. We think that we should be very careful in the way we do that. Because if you ban something and you’re not able to monitor and police it, what do you do?” He questioned. He said instead of banning plastics, government is relentlessly working on managing them, “…we think that the wholesale ban will not be in the interest of Ghana, because plastics are used everywhere. In the hospitals, in homes, in industries and agriculture and so on…The problem is that plastics are not bad but its management is problematic…”
We put together the solutions we'd like to see take place:
-Non-biodegradable plastic bags are banned officially from Ghana
-Public dustbins are made accessible in public places nationwide
-Businesses are educated on environmental protection, littering, waste management, recycling etc
-All districts/municipalities have an official recycling centre
-Re-usable and ecofriendly bags should be recognized and introduced instead of plastic bags
-Products seize being sold and purchased in non-biodegradable plastic bags
-Businesses thriving on/making plastic bags switch to eco-friendly bags: Paper, Re-usable and Biodegradable Plastic Bags
Based on this, our petition requests:
-NON-BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC BAGS are banned
-Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is implemented/established; including regulations to make producers responsible for their plastic products and their impact on the environment. (Proper waste disposal and collection, street sweeping and gutter/waterway cleanups).
-Incentives to industries through tax cuts to encourage the transition to the eco-friendly bags.
-Raising public awareness through all platforms about the environmental impacts of non-biodegradable plastics.
Please sign now and let your voice be heard among the masses today.