Collection is not Circular

Seven years ago, Environment360 started Evolve, Ghana’s first successful plastic collection scheme.  Recognized by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation for its success, several private companies and businesses have replicated Evolve.  It is fair to say, that Evolve paved the way for the creation of Ghana’s plastic eco-system.

In 2017, private companies, donor agencies and government took keen interest in solving Ghana’s plastic challenge. This led to more than $1,000,000 in investment in the collection infrastructure. However, these investments have not lead to a significant increase in plastics or development of a circular economy.

To promote a circular economy, Ghana must focus on innovation and technology. Focusing on innovations and local technology not only potentially increases incomes of waste pickers, but also  unlocks incentives that promote greater collection.  Ghana’s focus on the collection plastics, limits the development of quality jobs that provide sustainable and resilient communities. Focusing on collection  creates many low paying sorting jobs, which are undesirable by the market.

So how does Ghana propel itself into a circular economy? First, support residents to acquire practical technical skills to process waste into second life solutions. A second consideration is develop, symbiotic partnerships with private sector that provide technical assistance and value chains for sustainable.  Lastly, empower citizens to take part in the green economy and create jobs for their communities.  If these actions are taken, undoubtedly, Ghana can win its race to a circular economy.

Find out more how Environment360’s Circular Innovation Hub is addressing these issues, click here

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