World Cleanup Day is an annual global social action programme aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris.
It is coordinated by the global organization, Let’s Do It! World, the headquarters is located in Tallinn, Estonia. This event sees over 21 million volunteers across the world come out to clean up the planet of solid waste.
Mckingtorch Africa, a startup in the sustainability and waste recycling space in Ghana with a large volunteer base, went out on Saturday, September 18, 2021, to conduct a sustainable plastic waste recovery cleanup.
The exercise saw 200 kilograms of plastic bottles waste recovered from Sakumono Mighty Beach in the Greater Accra Region.
Joining the three-hour session were members of Yielding Accomplished African Women and Worship Aid Foundation volunteers.
To prevent recovered waste from ending up in landfills and coming back to the beaches through flooding, Mckingtorch Africa transported the plastic waste to Ezov’s recycling facility in Pokuase.
Every year, thousands of Ghanaians come out yearly for cleanup events and Mckingtorch hopes that it can move away from the traditional waste cleanup where everything is lumped together and transported to landfills to intentional plastic waste recovery that feeds into recycling programmes.
The workforce in waste management is mainly women, some divorced and others who are single mothers. Plastic waste segregation from source and plastic waste recovery and buy-back programmes are empowering these women who make some cash from picking waste to feed their families.
Ghana is losing millions in tourism revenue as beaches in the capitals are choked with plastic pollution even though these beaches have rich biodiversity and amazing landscape for recreational activities.
Going forward, waste trapping receptacle innovations around the city to trap waste carried around by floodwaters will help as Mckingtorch Africa pushes to influence people to reduce waste generation and segregate their waste for recycling.
Ghana has some of the best emerging plastic waste innovations with pavement blocks, wood-like beams for building and footwear are being made from waste from the streets of the cities.
One million tons of plastic waste in Ghana is recyclable with two million jobs to be created yearly. Ghana has, in 2019, passed a law in Parliament that seeks to sustainably manage plastic waste in Ghana against banning single-use plastics with development partners supporting innovations in the space and plastic product manufacturers paying more levies towards plastic waste management.
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