The Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has called on beverage companies to implement an incentive scheme for people who return plastic bottles to them for recycling as the EPA takes steps to enforce the law on “take-back policy”.
Speaking to JoyBusiness on the sideline of a clean-up exercise to mark World Ocean Day, John Pwamang said: "it's time to enforce the take-back policy on plastic products by companies which produce them".
"We have the L.I 2250 which requires that if you produce beverage in plastic you have the responsibility to take the empty bottles back. The regulator which is EPA will have an agreement with them on how much they can take back yearly until all the bottles are collected," he added.
The theme for this year’s World Ocean Day celebration was “Gender and the Ocean”.
Mr Pwamang believes there is a market for recycled plastics for reuse and a system must be put in place to collect back these plastics by the companies.
On the ban of plastics, he noted that the major problem now is the carrier plastic bags and banning it won’t cause much tension compared to the sachet which has become a source of good drinking water for communities with polluted river bodies.
"Beverage companies that sell in plastic should consider giving two pesewas on each plastic bottle to whoever returns it. The company can decide to give a Gh2.00 of their products or the money to collect 10 pieces of its bottles from anyone who returned it. This will help reduce the littering we are seeing in the environment".
He said the company must factor the cost into production and not transfer that to the consumer. This he believes will help curb the plastic menace in the country.
On her part, the Public Relations Manager of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) Julian Frances Adda said “keeping the ocean and its shores clean is a shared responsibility hence GPHA has budgeted to dredge the lagoon and to fix a sieve that blocks plastics wastes from entering into the sea causing havoc to fishes and affecting business of fisher folks.
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