Ghana to welcome its first PET bottle recycling facility

Ghana : Within two to three years, a collection system and modern recycling facility for PET bottles will start up in Ghana, according to Daniel Yaw Mensah Tornyigah of the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers' Association (GPMA). 'Some Euro 400 million will be invested in the facility and infrastructure,' he confirms to Recycling International.

Tornyigah is on a trade mission to the Netherlands this week, together with other organisations and companies representing the west African country's waste management and recycling sector. ‘We are here to learn from the innovative technologies and models used by the Dutch waste and recycling industry,' he explains.

A country of 29 million people, Ghana has done much already to improve and modernise its waste management. And the nation's president Nana Akufo-Addo wants its capital Accra to be ‘the cleanest city in Africa’ by the end of his term in 2020. In Accra alone, some 80 000 tonnes of municipal waste is generated every month and plastic scrap volumes - especially PET bottles - are growing rapidly. A large proportion is landfilled or burned but increasing volumes of plastic are exported to Asia or recycled and reused domestically, according to the GPMA.

Accra-based company Toahouse specialises in the construction of family homes from plastic bottles. 'The bottles are filled with sand which makes them solid bricks for fundament and inside walls applications,' explains ceo Paul Coffie. 'Also, for the outside walls application, we melt the plastic, add sand and mould these into components using the Lego principle.' It takes around 14 000 bottles to build a two-bedroom house, according to Coffie.

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