On 12th October 2018, Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) launched a school recycling program in Accra Ghana in collaboration with the Environment 360, a plastics recycling focused non-governmental organization . This program creates a waste separation and collection system for 19 schools in Tema Newtown with an ambition to cover 60 schools in surrounding municipalities by 2020. At this project kick-off stage there are 3,800 school children participating with a projected 3500 kilograms in monthly plastics waste collection.
This project reinforces and builds on a previous project called “Pick It” Social Enterprise and the opening of the Tema sorting center both launched and sponsored by Fan Milk another GRIPE member company. The main aim of the school recycling program is to exponentially increase plastics waste collection rates and thereby decrease plastics sent to landfill potentially polluting the environment. Additionally, the project will drive recycling, as the collected waste will be sent to the Pick-it sorting center where it will be sold for transformation into second life applications.
GRIPE is an industry-led coalition formed under the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) by companies with a stake in the plastics sector, its focus is to create and integrate sustainable waste management solutions, particularly around plastics into government regulation and business activities. GRIPE was founded in November 2017 by 8 multinational companies with varied products and proven track records of involvement in sustainability actions concerning plastics in other countries. The founding members are Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana, Dow Chemical West Africa Limited, Fan Milk Ghana Limited, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited, Nestlé Ghana Limited, PZ Cussons Ghana Limited, Unilever Ghana and Voltic (GH) Limited. Due to the lack of effective waste management and recovery infrastructure in Ghana combined with low recycling rates too much plastic is being lost to waste and to the environment. GRIPE aims to drive the practical and social benefit of plastic to match its environmental performance through projects integrating sustainable waste management in Ghana with the support of government, NGOs, recyclers and waste management companies.