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Government suspends ban on light plastics 

Mahama Ayariga

Government has suspended an intended ban on light plastics which was expected to take effect from today November 1, 2015.

Light plastics used in packaging gari and other food products were expected to be off the market but this might not happen.

The ban was to help the country deal with the poor sanitation which is mostly as a result of littering of plastic waste.

However, the Head of Public Affairs at the Environment, Science and Innovation, Alhaji Zachariah Musah told Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo that government is holding on to the ban following a petition from the Ghana Plastic Manufacturers Association.

He added that the directive for all plastic producers to make their products degradable will be enforced vigorously.

“Until we meet with the stakeholders, the issue about the micronage will not be a problem for now. Initially it was the two bodies that agreed on the micronage and oxo-biodegradable the additive and later it came up that at the end of the day when they add the oxo-biodegradable whether it is less than 20 microns or above the oxo-biodegradable will eventually decompose it so from 1st November we expect them to use oxo-biodegradable while we think about the petition brought to us,” he said.

The Executive Director of the Plastic Manufacturers Association, Daniel Tornyigah is however concerned about government’s inability to put together a legislative framework to support the directive.

“They started talking of banning plastics in 1996 so we said let’s find an alternative being biodegradable and if it is biodegradable governments will come and go so let’s make it legally binding.

“If it is about taking a legislative instrument from parliament that is great, it shouldn’t be an ad-hoc decision from somebody. There should be a binding law that governs it”, he said.

The Attorney General’s Department is still drafting a law on the issue.

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