Plastic importers to pay levies to finance plastic waste management

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The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has announced that government is reviving the Plastic Import Levy as part of efforts to control the impact of plastics in the country, ABC News can report.

The levy, which will be paid by importers of plastic products, is expected create an avenue for revenue mobilization to finance the management of plastic waste.

As part of efforts to curb the problem of plastic waste in the country, the government set up a plastic levy where persons who import plastic products into Ghana would be made to pay a particular amount of money towards the management of plastic wastes.

This will be run by the Plastic Levy Fund Authority. When established, the Fund Authority would collaborate with research institutions specifically the Institute of Industrial Research (IIR) under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), where 1% of the levy funds could be allocated to support research in finding ways of adding value to the plastic waste as a resource.

Speaking at a forum in Accra, Prof. Frimpong Boateng said the passage of the levy will accommodate the interest of all stakeholders.

“We have revived what we call the plastic levy. We are working on it but there are some difficulties with the law which are being managed now. When the law is established and the waste and monies start coming in, we are all going to benefit and assist you,” he said.

He however, added that “the difficulty we have in this country is that, although we don’t have many recycling industries, we have enough to be able to recycle the plastic that we collect. But the difficulty is the collection and transportation. If we are able to solve that then we will go a long way in helping ourselves with plastic management.”

The forum saw the Ministry, together with Nestle Ghana present tricycles and other waste collection logistics to the Plastic Waste Pickers Association of Ghana.

Currently, the absence of a clear-cut law to define the collection, management and utilization of the fee has somewhat contributed to the seeming inability of the government to deal with the plastic menace in Ghana.

Some have even called for an outright ban on plastics as solution to the alarming rate of plastic pollution in the country.

Meanwhile, responding to the call when he appeared before Parliament months ago, Prof Frimpong Boateng said government is not considering a wholesale ban on plastics, because a total ban will not be in the interest of the country.

“We are not in favour of wholesale ban because it will not be in favour of our nation. Plastics are used in all areas of the economy, including agriculture for the nursing of seedlings, in medicine for the packaging of blood and medicine, for sterilisation of equipment and so on, so a wholesale ban will not be in our interest,” he told the House.





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