The volume of plastic in the ocean is predicted to overtake the volume of fish by the year 2050, according to report by the Ellen and MacArthur Foundation.
The United Nations has meanwhile indicated almost 80% of marine waste comprises plastic with growing patches of plastic islands floating across the world’s oceans.
Dr. Clement Apaak, MP for Builsa South, disclosed these in a statement he read in Parliament on plastic waste management.
He stated that contrary to popular belief, high-income countries generate more plastic waste per person compared to low-income states.
He stressed that these counties have been more effective in managing the plastic waste menace and its risk of entering the ocean.
According to him, plastic waste has become a dangerous solid waste clogging waterways and causing respiratory illnesses when burnt in addition to many other negative impacts.
Policy enforcement of plastic waste management, he said, remains weak while global manufacturing of plastic continues to increase the quantity of plastic debris in oceans and on land.
Dr. Apaak offered suggestions on how to address the menace, which he said should include either placing total or partial bans on some plastic.
He however indicated a ban should be pursued along a plastic policy supported by effective waste management system.
These systems, he said, must be improved in terms of investments in sustainable disposal infrastructure and waste collection systems.
He observed that recycled plastic could be used in the manufacturing industry to produce items of monetary value to the citizenry, which will provide incentive to people to intensify collection of plastic waste.
According to him, effective strategies should also be adopted to educate and motivate behaviour change through community based sanitation ambassadors.
Minister for Environment, Science and Innovation indicated that as part of the plastic waste management, the Ministry has empowered a company in Pokuasi that is currently converting plastic into diesel and supplying to mining companies.
He indicated that another company is manufacturing pavement stones using plastic waste and sand.
These two examples, he indicated, are part of efforts to put plastic waste to other beneficial uses.
He lamented that segregation has been the biggest challenge in plastic waste management because households still find it difficult to keep other trash separate from plastic waste.
He noted the Ministry is not the only stakeholder that should be concerned about the plastic waste menace and urged the public to support the campaign