The Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) in partnership with SESA Recycling Limited, on Saturday, September 18, 2021, marked the World Clean-up Day with a community plastic buy-back project at Kokrobite in the Ga-South Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
The purpose of the buy-back project was to sensitize the coastal community on proper household waste management and to purchase clean post-consumer plastics from inhabitants.
Speaking at the sideline of the event, Louisa Kabobah, the project manager on GRIPE stated that the initiative seeks to promote sustainable plastics waste management and the circular economy in Ghana.
She further noted that the plastic buy-back project was also to empower the community especially the women with an additional source of household income and to help recover waste plastic materials which otherwise could have ended up in our gutters, landfills, and in the oceans.
“We are doing this as a means of community entry to engage the community, especially school children and women, and to involve them in the plastic waste picking process. We all agree that when women are empowered, their communities and the wider public are the direct and indirect beneficiaries, respectively,” she said.
She further added that “women are more likely to channel monies gained from their livelihoods back into the upkeep of their homes compared to men. This buy-back exercise, is therefore a way of grooming the next generation of waste management ambassadors while giving women in the area an opportunity to become financially independent.”
Miss Kabobah, explained that GRIPE is open to building sustainable and solid partnerships with credible organisations and individuals who are working in the plastic value chain and contributing to the circular economy and a waste-free environment in Ghana.
On his part, the Environmental Health and Safety Manager from the Mohinani Group, a member of GRIPE, Mr. Peter Agbo Gandee, urged the community members not to relent in their efforts towards keeping the environment safe.
He asked the Kokrobite community members to at all times segregate their waste at home. This he hopes will make the waste materials easy for reuse and recycling.
Adding his voice to the environmental hygiene call, the Chief Executive Officer of SESA Recycling Limited, Mr. Christopher Gyan-Mensah said, the plastic value chain is a huge and complex one and as such, the role of the community cannot be under-estimated in the fight against waste in the environment. He mentioned that the selection of Kokrobite community for the 2021 World Cleanup Day buy-back activity was strategic due to its closeness to the coast, and it is the hope that such an initiative will help reduce the volumes of plastics entering the sea.
Christopher while challenging the community members to do more in gathering their plastic materials, as an additional source of income disclosed that, with the support of GRIPE and other collaborating partners, buy-back projects will be organised in the coming weeks across various communities along the coast.
The Kokrobite community and schoolchildren lauded the initiative and promised to collect, and segregate, their plastic materials for the next time buy-back project in the community.
In all over 200 residents, 60 school children, and their teachers participated in the exercise. A total of 3003kg of plastics (1902kg of PET, 566kg of LDPE and 535kg of HDPE) were recovered from the buy-back project.
In addition, questionnaires were administrated to household to gather their perception of household plastic consumption and 13 volunteers from various organisations participated in the program.
The Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) is an industry-led coalition formed under the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) with a stake in the plastics sector to integrate sustainable waste management solutions, particularly around plastics. GRIPE was launched 2017 by FanMilk PLC, Guinness Ghana Limited, Unilever Ghana Limited, Nestle Ghana Limited, PZ Cussons, Dow Chemical Limited, Voltic Ghana Limited and the Coca Cola Bottling Company. The Accra Brewery Limited, Prenod Ricard, Mohinani Group, KGM Industries Limited and Finepack Industries Limited, have since joined the coalition. Buyback events is one of the several initiatives of GRIPE to support the household needs of deprived communities while raising awareness on community waste management.
About SESA Recycling Limited
SESA Recycling Limited is a waste recovery company that is setting-up an incentive-based scheme for plastics, aluminium and other valuable waste.