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Grassroots mobilisation key to ending plastic pollution – Betty Osei Bonsu

Madam Betty Osei Bonsu, a Ghanaian climate activist, says mobilising key stakeholders at the grassroots would mitigate the effects of plastic pollution in various cities around the world.

She said this at the “Paris International Forum to End Plastic Pollution in Cities,” as mayors, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), intergovernmental organisations, and philanthropies gathered to discuss ways of minimising the impact of plastics on the planet.

Speaking at the forum, Madam Osei Bonsu, who is the Uganda Country Manager for Green Africa Youth Organisation (GAYO), said that enhancing community participation through awareness creation and establishing buyback incentives triggered the concept of waste reuse.

This, she said, would help create green jobs and enhance the entrepreneurial capacity of the youth in local communities as they recycle their own waste to gain financial independence.

Madam Osei Bonsu further stated that her GAYO outfit had, in the past years, involved various stakeholders at the community and governmental levels in the implementation of sustainable environmental projects, including the Zero Waste Project.

“Through the Zero Waste Project, we undergo integration of the informal waste pickers and onboarding of community ambassadors. Here we acknowledge their contribution to waste management and the need for recognition from major stakeholders.

“At our material recovery facilities, with their assistance, four tonnes of plastic waste are collected monthly. We create partnerships and support small and medium-scale enterprises to scale up collections within communities while bargaining for better trading market prices.

“We are also influencing policy; an example is the zero-waste strategy Ghana document, which contains a proper waste management guide for municipalities,” she stated.

Madam Osei Bonsu finally called on global leaders to stand up for the fight to end plastic pollution, as urgent actions and system transformation had to be taken to avert the escalating threats to human health and the accelerating breakdown of the planet’s support systems.


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