May 24, 2024
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Plastic Punch, UNDP, and EU collaborate to mark 2022 World Ocean Day in Accra

Plastic Punch, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union in Ghana marked the 2022 World Ocean Day with a beach clean-up exercise, calling on citizens to take action to save the oceans from plastic pollution for a sustainable future.

The beach clean-up exercise was undertaken at the Regional Maritime University Beach ahead of World Ocean Day on the theme “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean”. Speaking at the clean-up exercise, Mr. Richmond Kennedy Quarcoo, Executive Director of Plastic Punch noted that “though beach clean-up exercises are not the solution to the plastic pollution menace, it is a key activity to collect essential data on ‘what’ and ‘who’ is polluting our coastlines to support advocacy towards an Extended Producer Responsibility regime and improved Waste Management in Ghana. Our aim at Plastic Punch is to continue to work with all partners to raise awareness among citizens on the dangers of marine pollution and how we can contribute to saving and protecting our marine resources and livelihoods since we all depend on the oceans for survival”.

The aim of the beach clean-up exercise is to leverage volunteerism and mass action to reduce the amount of plastic waste going into the oceans whilst raising awareness on the need for sustainable consumption, production, and proper waste management practices in communities towards a sustainable future for all. This is because, the waste that end up in the oceans largely come from improper waste management from inlands.

“With no time to waste, we must re-evaluate our roles in reversing environmental degradation that puts our health, prosperity, peace, and planet at risk. We are taking a
step toward revitalizing our oceans, and every citizen, institution, and stakeholder group has a part to play. Let’s all come together to promote environmental stewardship by changing our consumption and production habits”, noted Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana.

The UNDP Resident Representative added that, UNDP will continue to support innovation and work with public and private partners across Ghana’s vibrant innovation ecosystem to expand opportunities for young innovators who are working to keep the oceans healthy. So far, UNDP, she noted, has provided about $400,000 grants to 11 companies that are promoting waste recovery, creating jobs and livelihoods.

The EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly noted that “improved waste and wastewater management, increased recycling, avoidance of single-use products and
product eco-design can efficiently prevent marine litter. To drastically reduce plastic pollution, intensive education and awareness raising is needed, together with resolute
policies on plastic reduction and recycling.

Some private companies are invested into circular economy to increase profits and create more jobs, and a conducive regulatory framework would scale-up and increase these investments.”

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