Plastic manufacturers demand whereabouts of over GHc900m environmental tax from gov’t

The Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association of Ghana has accused government of failing to use the revenue accrued from the environmental levy for its intended purpose. President of the association, Ebo Botwe who was speaking on 3FM Sunrise on Wednesday, May 8 said the tax imposed on plastic manufacturers was to be used to curb plastic waste menace in the country. Mr. Botwe therefore charged government to set up a plastic waste recycling fund or authority to manage the 10% tax in tackling the issue of plastic waste. “Just about a year ago, we had a similar situation and the then sector minister for sanitation, Hon Kofi Adda, was contacted. “At that time, the fund had accrued to over 700 million. He gave a good explanation that yes, the money is supposed to be there, but then the previous administration had made some transfer. According to the then sector minister, they couldn’t find the money. “Some transfer was made, but where did the money go? About 600 million could not be accounted for,” Mr. Botwe said. He further noted that the money accrued from the tax was intended to be used for the establishment of recycling plants, but as it were, government is unable to account for the monies accrued so far. “The money that has accrued so far can conveniently establish at least six high capacity plants for PET plastics.” “Our argument is that since May 2018 till now, extra 200 million has accrued, so where are these monies as well?” he questioned. The plastic waste menace is of grave concern in Ghana, with various governments struggling to effectively manage the situation. Some persons and institutions have called for a complete ban on plastic waste. But the president of the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association said sachet water waste was under control with a collection rate of 75%. He noted the challenge currently was with collection of PET plastics, stating that, “a lot more of the industries, a lot of the bottling companies are switching from glass bottles to PET bottles.” He noted that Ghana continues to churn out over 5700 metric tons of PET bottles into the environment. “Mostly they are single use. If you have such volume of PET bottles waste of such magnitude going down the environment, then it is a big worry,” he said. He advised that the way to go was for consumers to consider the ‘3R’: Reduce, Re-use and Recycle in the bid to reduce the environmental plastic footprint.

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By Paul Selorm Agbo||Ghana]]>