YAFO Joins GRIPE; Creating Sanitation Awareness Through Recycling at Aboabo Community

Sanitation is increasingly becoming a challenge to the environment. Globally, the need to protect and make sure that man does not affect the environment beyond its regenerative capacity. Most consumable industries use plastic in packaging products. Therefore, these industries are an integral stakeholder in curbing the menace of increasing plastic waste within our society. Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprise (GRIPE) is championing the initiative to reduce plastic waste in society.

Young Africans for Opportunities (YAFO) joined GRIPE, at the Aboabo Community in the Asokore Mampong municipality of the Ashanti region, on Saturday, 16th November 2019 to collect plastic while creating awareness on waste disposal. The programme is geared towards renewing commitment and efforts on plastic recycling through buy-back.

The buy-back and community engagement programme was organized by GRIPE as YAFO volunteered to help collect tons of plastic within the Aboabo community. The collection and awareness involved teams from industries such as Voltic, Guinness, Coca-Cola and other volunteers including Recycling Up from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Also, the residence from the Aboabo brought plastic waste which was purchased to the benefit of residence. Premier Waste was the organisation responsible for buying-back plastic waste. In all, 1992 kg of plastic waste was recovered from the Aboabo community.

The aim of the buy-back programme is to create awareness on proper disposal of waste; to make residence know the need to segregate waste and the opportunity to convert plastic to the resource after usage. The community members who joined the buy-back activities promised to continue to spread the information among other residents.

The event featured Patricia Ama Bonsu, a broadcast journalist from Ultimate FM, who interviewed Felix Egyir Baidoo, Sustainability and Responsibility Manager at Guinness Ghana Breweries. Mr. Baidoo was impressed with the turnout and educational impact of the programme to residents.

“We believe that plastic is a resource and that post-consumer plastics is something we can make good use of. It shouldn’t end up in the environment, it should end up in the economy.” – Felix Egyir Baidoo

This programme has opportunities and potential for entrepreneurs to find innovative ways to make the plastic end up in the economy. YAFO is an organization that empowers Students, Young Professionals, and Entrepreneurs with opportunities. GRIPE buy-back project is an avenue and we admonish individuals to position themselves in a way to benefit. Recycling is an avenue through which technology is helping to process waste in amazing finished products; varying products for building, domestic wears like tables, chairs, kitchenware to mention but few.

The Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) is an industry-led coalition formed under the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) with a stake in the plastics sector to integrate sustainable waste management solutions, particularly around plastics. GRIPE was founded in November 2017, the founding members are 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 and Voltic (GH) Limited. Additional members include Mohinani Group, KGM, and Fine Pack.

The community buy-back programme is propelling education on proper waste disposal as well as creating an avenue to turn plastic into a resource. This invariably improves sanitation among residence in Ghana.

Article By

Stephanie Efua Yamoah,

She is the Ambassador and President for YAFO at KNUST

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