Green Africa Youth Organization’s project coordinator, Betty Osei-Bonsu was one of thirteen guest speakers of the United Nations Environmental Assembly webinar (UNEA 5.2) on Tuesday, March 15. The webinar provides an opportunity to learn and exchange knowledge on a new global agreement and what is needed for it to be an effective tool in solving environmental challenges. The UNEA 5.2 was a follow-up discussion on the UN’s treaty to end global scourge of plastic pollution.
Miss Osei-Bonsu provided insights into the problems facing Ghana on plastic and textiles, and how the next generation of environmental leaders are tackling the critical threats facing Ghana. She further expressed her views on the UN’s Global Treaty on plastic pollution and its positive impact.
“Plastic pollution can be found everywhere in Ghana, from beaches to remote areas. According to ECO Africa, in the case of textiles, Ghana receives 15 million worn clothing per week from the global North, with 40% of them inappropriately discarded due to low quality.
“The Green Africa Youth, a youth-led gender-balanced organization is implementing series of Zero Waste projects within communities across Africa. This is tackling the life cycle of waste by promoting education on waste reduction, capacitating communities to utilize existing waste as a resource to generate revenue and promoting alternative livelihood, whiles supporting waste workers to restore dignity to their work”. Said Betty.
She posits that United Nations’ global treaty to eradicate plastic pollution will be incredible if it doesn’t become ‘Business As Usual’ (BAU).
“A global treaty on plastics is a pathway to curbing plastic pollution if the aim of which it was established is not altered to follow the business as usual. A strong global plastics treaty means ensuring a holistic approach to ending the plastic pollution crisis and ensuring a more robust practice of involving youth in its implementation.
“It should factor capacitating waste workers who are front lines to this fight on pollution. Have policies that ensure corporate producers mine already existing waste (used) than extracting more oil and Gas. Producers and industries must remain accountable for managing their own waste and ending waste colonialism;
“If this is done, it would capacitate GAYO as a youth-led organization to get more resources from the government and private sector to scale our Material Recovery Facility to all communities to recover, treat and manage plastics while creating jobs for youth and building their capacities.
“The treaty will enhance accountability and our job as a CSO to achieve a cleaner and healthier environment for all”. She concluded.