BAN SINGLE-USE PLASTICS IN GHANA

BAN SINGLE-USE PLASTICS IN GHANA

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STATEMENT BY THE COALITION FOR THE BAN OF SINGLE-USE PLASTICS

The Government of Ghana must ban single-use plastics (SUPs) in Ghana, and invest in Research and Development (R&D) of environmentally friendly and sustainable alternatives.

The government has launched the Ghana National Plastics Action Partnership (NPAP) and produced a National Plastics Management Policy (NPMP) to address the plastic pollution crisis in the country. However, all these two are shockingly silent on a legislation to rid our communities of single-use plastics.

Ghana generates about 3000 tonnes of plastic waste every day, with about 90% of them imported into our economy. Less than 5% of the more than a million tonnes of plastics we generate annually are collected for recycling.  It is obvious that a larger proportion of these are single-use—plastic shopping bags; straws and stirrers; food wrappers and packaging materials, including Styrofoam and plastic take out containers; beverage and water bottles; coffee cups; cutlery; cotton buds; among others.

Single-use plastics leak into both marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, causing grave injuries and health risks to both biodiversity and humans:

  • The Bisphenol A (BPA) and other additives of plastics like phthalates, poisonous heavy metals and brominated flame retardants cause damage to internal organs, the reproductive, nervous and other systems in humans and non-human nature. Other chemicals from plastics also expose humans to fertility difficulties, hormonal problems and even cancer;
  • Microplastics and debris of SUPs end up in fresh water and marine habitats, choking a wide range of aquatic organisms to death. On terrestrial habitats, livestock and wildlife ingest these plastics along with food;
  • Shards of plastics are finding their way into our food chain; there is evidence that humans are ingesting invisible plastic particles through water and food;
  • Fishermen in parts of our coastal areas have reported the increasing threat of SUPs on fish stocks, as they are catching more plastics in the ocean;
  • The open burning of SUPs in our homes and dumpsites release dangerous gaseous substances that pollute the air, and cause severe respiratory injuries and organ damage;
  • SUPs become hazards that clog and choke drains, culverts and sewerage systems, increasing the risk of flooding and the spread of various diseases.

We believe this situation can be changed with strong legislation to ban single-use plastics and investment into eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives. For example, some traditional solutions like banana leaves are already in use, and we urge the Government to prioritise R&D in them, and also support the nascent industry championing these alternatives.

Please sign this petition and pass it on to your friends to sign it too!  Let’s tell the government to ban single-use plastics and invest in sustainable alternatives! Contact Ghana Youth Environmental Movement: gyemgh@gmail.com to support the #BanSingleUseGh campaign! Join the several actions and activities planned to achieve this vision!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!