Local plastic manufacturers say their businesses are being threatened by the volume of foreign plastic importation into the country.
They are warning the situation would wipe them out of business in no time should the government fail to regulate plastic importation which has moved from 12,000 tonnes to a 120,000 tonnes between 2015 and 2017.
“We are projecting that if the trend of unbridled plastic imports is not checked, most especially by the government agency in charge, the import share will take over the local production,” Executive Secretary of the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association Mr Daniel Tornyegah, said.
Speaking to 3FM’s Johnnie Hughes on Community Connect, Mr Tornyegah, said the local production has suffered a downward trend with the mid-year 2015-2017 production fixed at 27,000 tonnes around 15 per cent of the market share.
The Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association has a combined 120 companies in polymer, extruder, injection plastic production in Ghana.
The plastic operators say they had a minimum volume of 52,000 tonnes of polymer per 39,600 injection production in 2015.
“The Ghanaian plastic industry, a rather fragile one, has a combined employment of over 300,000 direct employment and over 900,000 indirect employment that risk the losing their jobs if the plastic imports are not regulated,” Mr Tornyegah noted.
“There is no sense in allowing in so much imports to the detriment of the local industry. We should find a way of growing the local market progressively instead of allowing in just import of finished products who do not contribute to the Environmental Excise Levy.”
Mr Tornyegah said the Environmental Excise Tax (EET) of 10 per cent of all granules or resins for plastic production is generated by the local manufacturers whose raw material importation constitute the gross (EET) generated purposely for the protection of the environment.
“But our counterparts who import finished plastics do not pay the EET at all,” he said.
He accused importers of continued massive under invoicing and under declaration, claiming he has evidence to prove.
“Over the years, the local plastic manufacturers have been at the receiving end of governments”, adding that their compliance levels is beyond average and unquestionable as they have met all the demands required.
“however the importers have no regulator to check their activities or compliance of finished products imported into the country,” Mr Torneygah added.
By Gideon Sackitey|3FM 92.7|3news.com|Ghana