Ghana EPA: Total ban on plastics not practical

Ghana EPA boss John Pwamang

The Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), John Pwamang, has said the country cannot put a total ban on plastics.

He said this was due to the large number of plastic industries present in the country.

Pwamang made the comments at a sensitization cleanup exercise held in Tema Fishing Harbour as part of the activities by the EPA to mark the 2019 World Oceans Day.

“If you look at the kind of manufacturing system we have in Ghana and the number of people that are employed, it’s not practical (that plastics) be banned outright but something can be done to ban certain uses that create the maximum waste,” Pwamang said.

“The carrier bags are what we are going to target because carrier bags may be something that is very strong and can be used for a long time. We think that if we are able to stop the use of this carrier bags it can reduce our plastic load.”

Statistics have shown that one single plastic bag takes approximately 400 years to degrade. Image: REUTERS/Cristobal Saavedra

Pwamang said EPA was targeting to stop the use of carrier bags in order to reduce the plastic waste in the ocean.

He said EPA has received a proposal from the Ghana Tourism Authority to do Marine drive behind the independence square area to make it beautiful and attract tourists.

Pwamang added that going forward, EPA would make sure that the Chemu Lagoon would not bring waste load into the ocean and would put out some sieves to prevent the plastics from getting into the ocean and also sensitize the people not to dump plastics into lagoons.