The Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprise (GRIPE), an industry-led initiative by eight (8) manufacturing companies under the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has donated a sum of GH¢10,000 and some items to the University of Ghana Plastic Recycling Project (UGPRP.
The cheque was received by Prof. Anthony Andrew Adjei, Chairman of the Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Team. While expressing his appreciation to GRIPE, on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor’s Green Project. Prof. Adjei spoke of the success of the UGPRP and said it was especially gratifying to note that the UGPRP is a student-led initiative. He was also grateful to GRIPE for the support of the project since its inception and urged GRIPE to rally for more support from its members.
In her remarks, Ms. Joyce Ahiadorme, from Voltic Ghana Ltd, and leader of the GRIPE delegation, said that waste management was a shared responsibility that includes society, waste pickers, the recycling industry, and the government. She called for an integrated sustainable waste management solution that will focus on data and research, public advocacy, solutions and implementation as well as multi-stakeholder collaboration. Ms. Ahiadorme further indicated that the duty of the private manufacturer was to improve waste management, facilitate investment, create awareness, contribute to increased recycling rates and provide employment. She assured the University of the continuous support of GRIPE to the UGPRP.
The team leader of the UPRP, Mr. Julius Jayson Botchway, used the occasion to highlight the activities of the project and how successful it has been since its inception. According to him, the UGPRP engage in activities such as education and awareness creation, sorting, collection and storing of recyclables, and sale of segregated plastics. To aid in improving the project, Mr. Botchway called for additional tricycles, giant bottles for lecture halls and departments, bags for storing collected recyclables, value addition machines, a storage unit or a buy-back centre construction, and an app to aid in collection and education.
Dr. Yirenya-Tawiah, Acting Director, Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, (IESS), in her welcome address called for the need to firm up the relationship with GRIPE since this will go a long way to promote the success of the UGPRP.
Dr. Benjamin D. Ofori, Co-Chair of the Vice-Chancellor’s Green Project lauded the volunteers especially the collectors for their dedication, commitment, and honesty towards the project. He envisaged a stage where plastics from the University would be exchanged for bricks made from plastic to aid in the pavement activities on campus as the University strives to achieve a green and well-paved campus.
Mrs. Stella A. Amoa, Director of Public Affairs, on her part, expressed gratitude to GRIPE and gave assurance of lending support to the publicity efforts of UGPRP.
UGPRP is a student–led initiative with full support from the Vice Chancellor’s Green Project. It is a joint initiative from the camps of two student groups namely Technology without Borders (Recycle Up! Ghana) and Cyzoe-Ghana. The project is expected to be a continuous and permanent project on the main and subsequently other campuses of the University of Ghana. It is also aimed at creating an attitudinal change towards plastic waste by instilling a culture of source segregation and recycling of plastic waste to aid the greening of the University of Ghana Campus.
Mr. Nana Nathan Afari, Georgina Quin, Samuel Kotoka, Rita Djabah, and Lawrence Tenu were adjudged the best six volunteers for the semester.
Other members of GRIPE attended the ceremony and presented some of their products.