GYEM Champions End of Single-Use Plastics (SUPs) in Two-Day Powerful Campaign
The Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM) passionately led a two-day powerful campaign urging a ban on single-use plastics on Friday, November 24, 2023 and Saturday, November 25, 2023. GYEM’s move was in a bid to tackle the escalating menace of plastic pollution in the country.
The impactful initiative took place at two prominent locations in Accra: the Kaneshie Market and Tema Station where GYEM convened with market women, Station masters and drivers including their bus conductors, customers, etc., and educated them on the detrimental impact of Single-Use Plastics (SUP) on the environment and the critical need to discontinue their use.
Throwing more light on the campaign, Samuel Boadu Duah, the campaign lead for GYEM’s SUP campaign, explained that: “In 2021, GYEM launched this campaign for the ban on Single-Use Plastics because we [Ghana] have not demonstrated that we are better able to manage our plastic waste.”
It is estimated that Ghana generates 1.1 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. Mr Duah expressed concern about this alarming trend, emphasizing the urgent need for addressing this.
“It is noteworthy that we are not calling for a ban on all plastics. Some plastics have been designed such that they can be used only once and these plastics account for a large volume of the 1.1 million tonnes of plastic waste that we generate in the system and these are the plastics we want banned,” Samuel added.
About GYEM’s SUP campaign
GYEM has been calling for legislation on single-use plastics (SUPs) in Ghana since 2021. The campaign, initiated on social media with the hashtag #BanSingleUseGh, demands that the Government of Ghana implement a ban on SUPs and allocates resources for Research and Development (R&D) focused on environmentally friendly and sustainable alternatives.
SUPs throughout their life cycle are a scourge to the environment and pose serious risks to both biodiversity and public health. They are also environmental hazards that increase flood risks in our communities, towns and cities. In view of this, GYEM wants them to be totally eradicated from the system.
SUPs GYEM wants banned
GYEM's Single-Use Plastics (SUP) campaign focused on advocating for the ban of 10 specific plastics namely; polythene bags, cotton buds, plastic cutlery, plastic shopping bags, styrofoam, plastic water and beverage bottles, plastic food wrappers, coffee cups, straws.
Programmes Officer for GYEM, Gloria Agyare dedicated time to educate the market vendors who warmly received GYEM’s message on the need to avoid SUPs. Other team members also carried placards and paraded through the market, spreading awareness among the market folks.
GYEM also built the capacity of the vendors on how to upcycle old clothes to make a reusable bag.
Speaking to GYEM after making her reusable bag, a trader, Mama T, who sells school bags admitted rubbers/plastics are wreaking havoc, given its implications on the environment. She said she was glad to have learnt how to sew the reusable bag and promised to make some and sell them to school children.
The campaign was spiced up by a thrilling performance from Belebele.