A former Minister of Environment,Science and Technology, Hon Mahama Ayariga, is advocating for the ban of plastic use in Ghana if waste management is not yielding good results.
Mr Ayariga who is the MP for Bawku Central was speaking on the floor of the House on Tuesday, June 5 in commemoration of the World Environment Day when he raised concerns about the seeming bad sanitation situation in the country.
The issue was first raised by the Chairman for the Environment Committee of Parliament and MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Boakye, who in a statement delivered on the floor tasked members of Parliament to intensify education that would influence attitudes towards fighting the plastic menace.
Hon Mahama Ayariga, MP, Bawku Central.
Adding his voice, Mr Ayariga said if influencing attitudinal change fails, “a firm decision” must be taken to consider the ban of plastic products like other countries have done, citing plastic management as difficult.
He said the litter of plastic in rural and urban communities “can be very scary” adding “it breeds mosquitoes.”
He noted that in the rural areas, many livestock feed on plastic products and die resulting in “exacerbating the poverty” of people who breed the animals.
In the cities, Mr Ayariga said the perennial floods the country has been facing annually is as a result of “plastic that choke gutters.”
He therefore urged the Ministry of Environment,Science and Technology to check the import of the products as many importers do not add additives to their plastic products into the country as producers of plastic in the country may be doing to get plastics biodegraded after they are dumped for some time.
He continued: “The EPA needs to be resourced to be able carry out nationwide monitoring of the plastics” and added that government also resource the EPA with “equipment to do onsite testing to make sure that a plastic product actually has a biodegradable additives” to aid its decomposition and reduce the sanitation challenges the country is facing.