By Alex Osei-Boateng
ACCRA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Ghana is going to introduce biodegradable plastics this year, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng said on Thursday.
Frimpong-Boateng was opening a regional policy dialogue of the Switch Africa Green (SAG) project in Accra which assembled stakeholders from six African countries to share experiences on the switch to green business development for sustainable growth.
The dialogue is to create a common understanding of policy landscape to enable countries to strengthen their institutions with appropriate tools and legal instruments for green business development.
In an answer to a question by Xinhua about plans to ban plastic bags in Ghana, Frimpong-Boateng said Ghana is going to introduce biodegradable plastics this year.
He said the Ghana Standards Authority had begun running tests on some resins that it is going to encourage or force plastic manufacturers to use to get biodegradable materials in Ghana.
"But that is not the solution. The solution is our attitude. We can continue to use plastic provided we are going to abide by environmental laws and rules. If you don't litter and you segregate your waste, the plastic will become a very good raw material for other things. So it all depends on our attitude."
"We will introduce biodegradable plastics but if at some point we are not prepared to change our ways, then we would have to take other more drastic measures," he said.
The SWITCH Africa Green project is developed and funded by the European Union to support African countries in their transition to an inclusive green economy.
These transitions are envisaged to happen by adopting and implementing Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) patterns and practices in selected focus areas.
The participating countries, namely Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa and Uganda, have already developed their national SCP programs and national green economy strategies.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Christine Evans-Klock, highly commended Ghana's commitment to the global agenda to halt climate change in the context of the Paris Agreement through its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (NDICs).
She said the SAG project was a strategic and opportune tool for Ghana and the five other African pilot countries to accelerate transition towards an inclusive economy based on sustainable consumption and production patterns, while generating growth, creating decent jobs and reducing poverty.