Recycling of Plastics through Environmentally Sound Manners

Recycling, in simple terms, is defined as the conversion of used materials (waste) into new products. The purpose of recycling is to

  • • Prevent waste of potentially useful materials,
  • • Reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials,
  • • Reduce energy usage, and
  • • Reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from land filling) by reducing the need for “conventional” waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production [17].

According to a feasibility study on plastics waste by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Ghana, GHC 1,200,000 can be generated every month if plastics waste goes through various stages toward recycling. Recycling therefore provide opportunities for effective management of plastics waste management, as well as income generation. However, though some plastic wastes recycling plants have been established, the menace still persists. Funding and capacity have been identified as the major problems hindering recycling of waste. It is therefore proposed that [1]

  • • Preferential tax treatment to the private sector for the construction of plastics waste treatment plants.
  • • A voluntary code of practice for retailers, consumers and manufacturers aiming at rationalizing the issuance of plastics, increasing the usage of plastic bags made from recycled material, creation of convenient and accessible recycling stations to customers and setting up of better standards for imported packaging plastics [17].

  • [1] A plastic waste management fund should be created to support recycling andupgrading of plastic waste infrastructure to promote private-public partnershipsin the development and management of plastic waste infrastructure. The fundshould be resourced with voluntary contributions from industry, government andother donors, and these contributions are tax exempt. • Set up of differential power and water tariffs to increase the level of recycling. • Zero-rating of recycled products to create a vibrant market for recycled products. • Supporting the development of biodegradable bags that are more durable, reusableand recyclable.
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