GRIPE campaigners undergo two-day advocacy training in Accra

Date: 2018-10-26

Leading advocates of the AGI-Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) project have been taken through a two-day advocacy training in Accra.

The training, aimed at equipping the personnel with an enhanced appreciation of advocacy in Ghana, is a start to the grant award from the BUSAC Fund towards the AGI-GRIPE project in Ghana. It was held at the Conference Room of the AGI in Accra and included participants from PZ Cussons, Dow Chemical, Unilever Ghana Ltd, Voltic, Nestle Ghana Ltd, Coca-Cola Ghana Ltd, Fanmilk Ltd, Guinness Ghana, and the AGI Directorate.  

Ghana, like most developing countries, has a solid waste management problem. Issues such as the non-existence of a robust solid waste management policy, lack of formal source separation and segregation of plastic waste militate against proper waste management in the country.

It is estimated that of the 12,710 tonnes of municipal solid waste generated every day in Ghana, only 14% is plastic. However, plastics have mostly been targeted as the main contributor to the solid waste problems, leading to governments imposing restrictive regulations on their use. One such proposed regulation by government is the addition of oxo-biodegradable additives to plastics for use in the country.

AGI-GRIPE, however, is of the opinion that oxo-biodegradable additives are not a solution for littering and have not been proven to be food-contact safe. The coalition is, therefore, advocating for a re-evaluation of the current plastic policy being drafted by Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) to ensure it, not only fully addresses the issue, but ensures business sustainability as well. It is in this regard the BUSAC Fund has extended a grant facility to the GRIPE project.

GRIPE is an industry-led initiative under the auspices of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and currently has Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana, Dow Chemical West Africa Limited, Fan Milk Ghana Limited, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited, Nestlé Ghana, PZ Cussons Ghana Limited, Unilever Ghana and Voltic (GH) Limited, as founding members.

The coalition, among others, seeks to integrate sustainable waste management solutions, advocate improved waste management practices, contribute to increased collection and recycling rates countrywide, and provide employment opportunities through scalable recycling solutions.

Since its inception in November 2017, GRIPE member companies have undertaken a number of projects aimed at driving awareness and also giving second use to plastics in the country. Some of these initiatives include construction of a plastics collection and sorting center in Tema New Town and implementation of a recycling technology to use plastics as aggregate in construction blocks. 

At the end of the training programme, participants agreed to build synergies and multi-stakeholder collaborations to drive outcomes around a digital education campaign focused on segregation at source and anti-littering behavior, setting-up collection and sorting centers that will help create jobs, supporting waste pickers through capacity building, organizational skills, and appropriate tools.