As part of efforts to reduce and possibly tackle plastic pollution in Ghana, Blueskies Limited in partnership with Waitrose and the University of Northampton, has launched an initiative to find solutions to plastic pollution with the view to prevent an environmental disaster in future.
The initiative, dubbed Freshppac, seeks to bring players in the food supply and processing chain, and players in academia together to brainstorm and come out with feasible solutions to end the menace.
Fresppac also allows the public, individuals, and research groups to submit proposals and documents on how to tackle these problems relating to plastics for them to be adopted, funded, and implemented in commercial stages.
In an interview with Citi News after the launching, Dr. Ebenezer Laryea, a Senior Lecturer at Northampton University, said recent figures paint a gloomy picture hence the need to immediately come out with feasible solutions to end the plastic waste menace.
“We have got initiatives like freshppac and of course the roundtable engagement is part; we are bringing players in the food sector together joining hands with players in academia to find those alternatives and circular economic solutions to plastics, and so if all these are joined together I believe that as a country we can place our hands on the arc of these problems, and bend it towards a solution that does not only work for us, but will ensure that your children and mine will inherit an environment that is better than what we inherited from our fathers.”
Food Security Under Threat
According to Dr. Laryea, the rate of plastic pollution poses a threat to food security.
“The level of plastics pollution in Ghana is a threat to food security, and this is from our use of plastics in farming. A number of farmers in Ghana use plastics as mulch and the whole purpose behind that is to increase yield, produce, control weeds, and sometimes control pests, so plastic mulch is used throughout farming in Ghana in the areas of pineapple farming.”
He noted further that, “The problem with this is that the plastics remain in the soil and the United Nations has released a report recently in which they said there are actually a lot of plastics in soils than we have in our oceans, so if this continues unchecked in Ghana, then we are looking at a situation where in 20 to 30 years when huge sways of our land will be unarable, it will be a major disaster because we want the next generation of Ghanaians to be able to go into farming, have lands with soil fertility and not to be in the position where we are not able to feed ourselves in this country because the soil fertility is damaged as a result of our use of plastic mulch. And so we need to find solutions and alternatives as soon as possible” he noted.