Plastic waste has been described as one of the worst forms of environmental pollution prompting calls for the recycling of the waste to reduce their devastating effects.
Addressing the Green Global Growth Forum Plenary which seeks to address issues facing the Consumer and how to transform Consumption Habits in Copenhagen, Denmark, President Mahama said the menace of plastic waste though not new should be treated with the utmost seriousness it deserves.
“The problem of single – use plastics and the hazards they pose to the environment, to people and to animals is by no means a new issue…….The problem with plastic bag usage on the African continent is further compounded by the problem of poor waste management and recycling programs that are either nonexistent or just ineffective.”
“A discussion on the hazards of single – use plastic would not be complete without the mention of Bisphenol A, or BPA, the synthetic substance found in most plastics, and its toxic effects on our bodies, effects that have been linked to a host of diseases including cancer and hormonal and reproductive irregularities.”
He also noted that “in Ghana and throughout most of Africa, when we talk about ways to transform our consumption patterns, we must also consider the mindset that informs these patterns, the mindset that what we produce and how we were once living in somehow substandard or inferior when held up to what more developed nations produce and how they were once living.”
President Mahama further added that “Ghana has been seriously considering which strategies would be the most viable, which strategies would realistically create change” to reduce the devastating effect of plastic waste.
He also called for a concerted effort to help mitigate the effects of plastic waste on human health and the environment.
“I would be remiss if I did not also offer as a consideration in this dialogue ways in which we can transform our consumption patterns and the importance of educating the public on the health implications of such patterns of consumption. Not just the implications to the health and sustainability of our environment, as is often the focus of green growth, but the implications to our own health and survivability.”