Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment, Science, and Technology, Honourable Dickson
Adomako Kissi has called on Ghanaians to develop the use of recyclable packaging materials.
In line with the need to develop effective and sustainable ways to manage the disposal of plastic waste in the country, a development-oriented and youth advocacy organization, Worship’s Aid put together an annual conference to engage the stakeholders to brainstorm on the issues on the theme “Covid-19 pandemic and the plastic menace: Sacrificing today’s Earth for tomorrow’s health?”
Speaking at the Plastic Waste Management Conference 2021, Honourable Dickson Adomako Kissi stated that it will take the support of both citizenry and stakeholders to create an environment more open to recyclable alternative packaging.
We contribute more to the issue and we should be able to contribute more to the solution. The government is doing a lot, but we need to make changes in our own homes. That is why you and I need to talk to our people to change, and I think that if we cut down on our plastic waste in our individual homes, we will save the government a lot and also make sure our drainages are clear of plastics.
Furthermore, Founder of Environment 360, Mrs. Cody Azeez discouraged the “plastic versus paper” conversation and stated that it was best to focus on perceptions for change.
We need to start rethinking behavior and design. Can we set up water-filled stations in communities, so instead of people buying water sachet in a bag you come and refill your water?. Can’t you even use the clay filter which has been used in Africa for thousands of years and now we’re too good to use it?. Can’t you use your baskets? So I agree with Honorable that a lot of things that we’re holding our government for is actually personal choices that people make. I think using paper is magnificent but why don’t you just use glass and then use it time and time again. But then somebody will tell you, “oh I don’t want to drink because I don’t know how they clean the glass”. So I think we need to check our cultural perceptions. These are the things we need to be more concerned about than a paper versus plastic.
Subsequently, Research Officer at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana, Miss Rebecca also spoke on the need for government to create an environment that encourages the general public to engage in proper disposal of plastic waste.
For instance, when I moved to Accra, I was separating my waste in the residence I was in; the sachet from mixed waste. But then in the end you look for where to send them and you have no idea. I had to tie it up and put into the dust bin, I didn’t really know what was going to happen to it. At a point, you see that if you don’t have the commitment you’ll just stop. It’s not as if I did not want to do it, the positive attitude is there but where is the support system. All these comes, when we talk about behavioral change. Behavior change doesn’t just happen, you need structural support that can hold this behavior.