Volunteering to Protect the Environment; YAFO Partners Premier Waste Ghana & GRIPE

The protection of the environment comes with great concerns. We all agree to save the planet, however, in our ingenuity, we adopt different approach, innovation, and creativity to protecting the environment.

Putting a value on plastic waste is significant to protect the environment. Considering our part of the world where socio-economic challenges take a toll on the citizenry, it is more likely to create a double burden once individuals face environmental challenges as well. Through recycling plastic waste, the right incentive has been created in Ghana to mitigate the problems associated with plastic waste disposal. The initiative is dubbed as Community Buy Back, which focused on buying back plastic waste from communities in Ghana and championed by Premier Waste Ghana and Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE).

Another episode of the Community Buy-Back initiative took place on 26th June 2021 at Asokore Mampong in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The event presented the opportunity for twenty-three (23) volunteers from Young Africans for Opportunities (YAFO) to join hands and create awareness on plastic waste at Asokore Mampong. The event also brought several organizations including Recycle Up, No Business as Usual (NBU), Omankrapa Foundation who equally played an important role to make the event a success, and the media team from TV Africa and Tech TV. A total of eighty-three (83) volunteers participated in the Community Buy-back event.

The community buyback featured two sections – the first is the awareness section and finally the buy-back section. During the awareness section, volunteers formed six groups of five to embark on community sensitization and awareness on plastic waste. This was also an exciting section because each group was tasked to collect plastics alongside creating awareness on plastic waste and how community members can find value in plastic waste. The finally and buy-back sections presented community members an avenue to bring their plastic waste for purchase. In all, a total of 1048 Kg of plastic waste was bought from community members at Asokore Mampong in Ghana.

Community members exchanging plastic for money

The community buy-back did also presented networking opportunities as volunteers enriched their social wealth by meeting new people. In addition, Edmund Brown Arthur, CEO of Premier Waste Ghana, and Mr. Frederick Acquah, Business Development & Marketing Linkages Advisor of SNV Ghana, spent quality time with YAFO volunteers. Having seized the moment, Mr. Acquah shared some interesting opportunities in recycling and some untapped avenues within SNV Ghana as well.

YAFO Volunteers Time with Mr. Acquah

The Community Buy-Back event spearhead by GRIPE in partnership with Premier Waste Ghana is inspiring creative ways to care for the environment.

GRIPE Initiative is powered by some big brands who use plastic as part of delivering value to society. This includes Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana; Dow Chemical West Africa Limited; Fan Milk Ghana Limited, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited, Nestlé Ghana Limited, PZ Cussons Ghana Limited; Unilever Ghana, Voltic (GH) Limited, The Mohinani Group, Accra Brewery Limited, KGM Industries, Fine Pack Industries, and Pernod Ricard Ghana.

Premier Waste Ghana is through the community buy-back event helping to educate households and other stakeholders in the community as well as giving a second life to plastic waste in Ghana.

Edmund Arthur Brown, CEO of Premier Waste Ghana and Nathaniel Dwamena, moment together.

Young Africans for Opportunities have been consistent with its support for the community plastic buy-back through volunteering and featuring in almost every event since commencement. Caring for the environment is awesome, get involved!

Article by

Nathaniel Dwamena

He is the Programs Manager at Young Africans for Opportunities. He engages in activities that promote principles of a free society and free market.

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