Ghana to get oil from plastic waste (Back Page)

THE Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST) has given the assurance that a solution will soon be found to the environmental menace posed by plastic waste in the country.
As part of the solution, the ministry is learning from the experiences of China, Kenya and Mauritania and also collaborating with a multi-national recycling company to convert plastic waste into machine oil.
According to the experts, plastic oil could be used to lubricate industrial machines and, according to Ms Sherry Ayittey, the sector Minister, the move was to ensure added value to plastic waste which was creating environmental problems for the country.
Receiving the report of the committee which was set up to look at the problem of plastic waste and make recommendations, Ms Ayittey said a pilot project would soon commence in some parts of the country to determine the viability of the project for its subsequent expansion.
The latest figures indicate that there are 895 plastic manufacturing companies and sachet water manufacturers in the country, producing about 26,000 metric tonnes of assorted plastic products annually, with 90 per cent of the companies in the Accra and the Tema metropolises alone.
The seven-member committee, chaired by Lt Col Jacob H. Blood-Dzraku (retd), was tasked to look into the plastic waste menace in the country and recommend measures to deal with it.
Plastic has become a thorny issue in many parts of the country. In the absence of measures to control its use, particularly bags and water sachets, it continues to cause environmental degradation, while every street is littered with plastic waste the drains choked with plastic materials.
Ms Ayittey said although plastic had a negative impact on the environment, in positive terms the waste could be recycled to add value to it for the benefit of society.
She commended the committee for its commitment to the task assigned it, saying the ministry would study the report and look into what could be done to reduce the hazard posed by plastic waste to the environment.
Presenting the report, Lt Col Blood-Dzraku expressed the hope that the report would be useful in helping curtail the floods that led to the loss of lives and properties.
He said the committee toured 16 towns and cities in the country to learn at firsthand how plastic waste was affecting society. It also held talks with the Chinese, Kenyan and Mauritanian embassies in the country, as they were already involved in that project.

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