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An Analysis of the Plastic Waste Collection and Wealth Linkages in Ghana

Author: 
Owusu-Sekyere Ebenezer, Issaka Kanton Osumanu and Abdul- Kadri Yahaya
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Since the turn of the new millennium, there has been a steady increase in the use of plastic products resulting in a proportionate rise in plastic waste in the municipal solid waste streams in Ghanaian cities, including the Kumasi metropolitan area. The adoption of a more hygienic mode of packaging food, beverages, “iced water” and other products brought plastic packaging to replace the existing cultural packaging methods. However, the packaging revolution has not been correspondingly backed by appropriate plastic waste management policy, which has left many cities in Ghana littered with plastic wastes; thus, creating disgusting visual nuisances and other public health problems. Despite the environmental and health implications of plastic waste, plastic recovery and recycling has become a very lucrative activity that have the potential to lift Ghana from its current economic quagmire. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the paper reveals that plastic waste collection and recycling has generated employment and revenue. The research further revealed that plastic waste is used as raw materials by the construction and oil industries. The paper concludes that plastic waste recovery and recycling should be institutionalized and regulated so that the wealth linkage can be mainstreamed with national policies.

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