The United Kingdom-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) together with its member, Trashy Bags Africa has embarked on a cleanup to rid Labadi Beach of plastic waste to mark the commemoration of Earth Day 2022.
The day which is observed annually across the globe every April 22 is themed, “Invest in our Planet.”
Not less than 60 volunteers combed the shores of the beach and hand-picked almost all plastic waste that had been disposed indiscriminately. Some of the members are from Aqua Africa, sister company of Trashy Bags Africa, as well as members from other partner organisations.
The exercise was two-pronged; to be part of about 193 countries commemorating the day which sought to highlight climate change as well as leverage the plastic waste as raw materials for recycling into durable, iconic bags.
Trashy bags, in 2007, saw value in plastic waste which has become a canker in especially West Africa and the need to create climate-smart solutions with them.
Speaking to Joy Business, Chief Executive of Trashy Bags Africa, Philip Foster said his outfit is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals.
He said, “targets are always hard to meet but one thing I will say is that we are driving towards meeting those adopted SDGs.”
“We are taking them quite seriously because they have become policy and law.” Mr. Foster added.
Trashy Bags Africa has signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, committing to be carbon neutral by 2030.
The Trashy Bags boss and Founder of Aqua Africa, Philip Foster says his outfit is committed to creating jobs which will have a positive impact on the environment (Green jobs).
The company since inception has collected and recycled 30 million sachets with 200,000 plastic sachets being recovered and upcycled each month by over 40 full-time employees.
According to Mr. Foster, giving value to the plastic waste supports government’s commitment to a Ghana beyond aid by promoting a “Trade not Aid” approach.
Trashy bags Africa is embarking on a growth plan to expand and export the Ghana brand internationally increasing the venture to additional locations as well as further Sub-Saharan countries that are experiencing similar challenges in waste issues, addressing several of the UN’s key SDGs to protect the planet.
The company has so far penetrated quite a significant number of advanced countries around the world.
“We have a splendid environment, we export bags across the Americas, in Switzerland, across Europe, UK and as far as Australia and New Zealand and these bags are waste that we’ve collected from Universities, from the streets, the sea we manufacture them here and ship them around the world.” said Mr. Foster.
Sustainability of business
For his part, the Country Manager for Trashy Bags Africa, Bright Biney expressed optimism about the sustainability of the venture .
He says the company is working towards unveiling a well-thought-through plan on upscaling it activities – a move expected to increase productivity significantly and increase the staff strength.
Meanwhile, Operations Manager, Elvis Aboluah, said his outfit is embarking on several environmental awareness campaigns in various institutions to enlighten the minds of skeptics on the relevance of plastic waste.
“We here need to relieve our environment of the waste because in Europe people understand that it is not just a bag but they are buying something which is environmentally-impactful that would have been either on the streets or the beaches.” He added.
The UKGCC expressed commitment to educating businesses on the SDGs. It says it will continue to provide support to businesses that inculcate environmental sustainability in their operations.
Executive Director, Adoba Kyiamah in an interview said “we believe that there should be zero waste so we encourage that businesses must strive to attain a position of zero waste.”
She however called for the adoption of long term actions to end marine pollution.
“Some of these actions should include reducing our use of single-use plastics, supporting legislation to curb non-recyclable plastic production and plastic waste.” She added.
Volunteer and Founder of Global Trade Consult, Rubby Golo, Said education on environmental solution should start at home. She said there is the need for parents to teach their wards on the relevance of proper management and segregation of waste generated in the homes.
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