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General News of Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Source: Harriet Nartey, Contributor

EU delegation in Ghana embarks on a beach clean-up exercise

Diana Acconcia, European Union Ambassador to Ghana Diana Acconcia, European Union Ambassador to Ghana

The European Union Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Diana Acconcia has called for the enactment of a sanitation law by the Government of Ghana that would see to a clean environment with particular focus on Ghana’s beaches.

The Ambassador delegate to Ghana made the call at the occasion of a beach clean-up exercise organized in collaboration with Plastic Punch, an NGO raising awareness on the dangers of plastics for humans, the environment and marine life.

The Regional Maritime University at Nungua here in Accra was the centre for this year’s beach clean-up exercise. The event was part of EU’s climate week celebration marked annually and replicated in all of the European Union Delegations and embassies of several EU Member States around the world. Series of events are held in honour of the occasion with the aim of fostering dialogue and cooperation on Climate change to inspire further actions.

In her speech, she highlighted the EU’s Green Deal which is aimed at making the EU’s economy sustainable and turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities for the benefit of the world by 2050.

According to her, “Millions and millions of tons of litter end up every year in the ocean, posing huge environmental, economic and health concerns. The EU is making global efforts to reduce and avoid pollution, including marine litter. Marine litter can consist of plastics, wood, metals, glass, rubber, clothing etc but by far, the most abundant and problematic is plastics. In the EU, 80-85% of beach litter is plastics”.

She advocated on the need for waste segregation and recycling plants for the socio-economic development of the country.

Richmond Kennedy Quarcoo, the Director and co-founder of Plastic Punch, an NGO raising awareness on the dangers of plastics, for humans, the environment and the marine life as well as providing sustainable waste solutions expressed disappointment at the scene of the exercise.

He says his organization undertook a clean-up exercise in January, this year and Eight months down the line, it looks very untidy with human activities.

He called for an intensive education among the public saying “Plastic punch cleans the beaches every month even though it is not the solution to this menace but it is a perfect way to raise awareness to let them know the implications of littering indiscriminately, over 50 tons of trash was collected the last time and so, the solution is to reduce our plastic blueprint and carry re-usable bottles’’.

The EU says waste collected at the beach will be used for upcycling and recycling workshops. The EU Ambassador said her organization is committed to support Ghana in the raising of awareness which is the first step to reduce, re-use and recycle the waste generated.

The clean-up exercise brought together almost all the EU Member states in the country, government officials and officials of the Regional Maritime University.