In Ghana, producers of plastic packaging will soon have to take responsibility for the waste they create, thus becoming key actors in the West African country’s recycling sector to tackle plastic waste.
“We are counting on legal support to achieve [higher levels of collection and recycling in the hopes of eliminating plastic from the streets altogether],” explains Lydia Essuah, Director of Policy, Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation at the Ministry of the Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation.
According to the World Economic Forum, Ghana produces an estimated 840,000 tons of plastic waste every year – with some 120 companies manufacturing more than 52,000 tons of plastics a year – but a meager 9.5% is collected for recycling. This new law will replace the voluntary system currently in place; it will make mandatory the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility under which any company that produced waste must be responsible for it, from what is produced during the manufacturing process to what is dumped on the streets by consumers. This will prompt the setting up of collection and recycling centers for used plastics across the country.