World Bank urges plastic bag ban

The World Bank has urged President John Dramani Mahama to ban the use of plastic bags in the country as a way of dealing with the sanitation challenges the country faces.

According to the World Bank, Ghana is far from meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on sanitation and we are second to Southern Sudan on open defecation.

Kofi Tsikata, Senior Communication Analyst at the Ghana Office of the World Bank, said: “We are in the countdown to the end of the MDGs, but in sanitation and health, we are not doing well, especially sanitation.

“The Government should, say – come June 2015 – there will be no open defecation. Plastic bags should also be banned in the country”.

The World Bank communication analyst said this in Accra yesterday at the launch of an initiative between the National Service Secretariat (NSS) and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to rid the country of filth.

The initiative, dubbed ‘National Service for National Sanitation Day’ will see the two institutions work hand-in-hand on the first Saturday of every month for clean-up exercises in communities across the country.

According to Mr Tsikata, the banning of plastic bags should be seen as one of the ways the country can get rid of waste.

He said to ensure a clean and safer environment, it was important for the country to license plastic buyers who would from time to time buy back waste plastics, especially the bottled and sachet plastics, from established joints.

Mr Tsikata said waste is wealth in most countries around the world, so it was time Ghana makes use of it. He, therefore, called on established institutions like Coca-Cola and the Accra Brewery Company Limited, producers of Voltic, to support the buy-back plastic initiative.

The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Julius Debrah said he was optimistic he could turn the situation around, especially with this collaboration with NSS. He commended the NSS and the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) for coming on board for the fight against filth.

He said “If we don’t clean our own environment no one would do so for us”. He appealed to citizens to come out and clean their environment come December 6, 2014, to ensure a successful exercise.

Credit: The Chronicle