The Project Coordinator for Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO) Jacob Johnson Attakpah has indicated that, nobody should be proud of or preached about the idea of incineration being a possible way to combat waste in Ghana.
He made this statement in an interview during a media workshop organized by Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO) in collaboration with Ghana and Global Alliance for Incineration Alternative with support from Climate Journalists Network Ghana on Anti-Incineration and Plastic Pollution.
The workshop held in Accra, was aimed at enhancing the knowledge base of the Ghanaian Journalists to enable them effectively report on incineration and plastic pollution.
Mr. Attakpah disclosed that, plastic pollution have become a nuisance especially, in the major cities in Ghana all because of people’s behavioral attitude towards products that they use.
“So you will see that there is a single food package with three or four layers of plastics. All this things are not sustainable and they are not sustainable because, there is no proper or environmentally sound disposal of waste when it comes to plastic. So you will find out that many times, the plastic waste ends up in the landfills or they find their way into the draining system and this things are causing disasters”.
The Anti-Incineration and Plastic Pollution campaign he mentioned, is to make everybody aware and to engage the media as key stakeholders in the conversation, to make people aware about the harm of incineration and to let people know that as citizens, it is a their responsibility when it comes to the dealings of plastic pollution.
He therefore urged the media to preach the message to enable people change from using single used plastic, and divert to more sustainable ways of packaging things by going back to the re-fill and re-used system in other to get rid of filth in the country.
He said, people should come to the realization that when using plastic bags, they are creating a problem for somebody else. “When you used one plastic bag, you are possibly chocking the gutter in somebody’s house that is going to lead to flooding. When you use a plastic bag, you are fostering the climate change problem because, the starting point of plastic is oil extraction and so when you use plastic, you are compounding issues like Climate change”.
He called for the need to stop using plastic and rather moved to a sustainable alternative which he stated, is the surest way to go.
The idea behind the Anti-incineration and plastic pollution campaign is to create public awareness on the harmful effects of insinuation.
Ghana and African in general he indicated, is faced with sanitation challenges adding that, there is a news being preached around that when you gather all your waste and burned in a container, you would not have waste anymore. “But research has shown that, it is not so because, science tells us that matter cannot be destroyed but it can only be moved from one states to the other. When you say that you can burn all your waste, it is no true”.
African countries like Ethiopia he stated, has face harms in the hands of incineration after setting up a plant and put all waste together with the hope of getting energy but did not work because, it did not support the idea of sustainable production and consumption.
“When you say that you can use all your product and then essentially, the waste you just burn together, it means you are promoting linear economy and that is in direct contravention to the ideals of the sustainable development goals which is to foster a circular economy and to foster resource efficiency.