The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has begun a five-day assessment of a new project to help Ghana manage plastic waste using nuclear technology.
Ghana is one of four African countries including South Africa, Kenya, and Morocco that have been selected by the IAEA to implement the project dubbed “NUTEC Plastics” under the Agency’s Technical Cooperation.
An IAEA expert in Polymer Technology, Dr Chantara Thevy Ratnam, is in charge of the fact-finding mission which ends on Friday.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Acting Director, Commercialisation and Communication Directorate of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Sheila Frimpong.
It said the plastic waste project was an initiative by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation’s (MESTI) being implemented through GAEC.
During the visit, it said, Dr Ratnam would meet with government officials while the project team would tour selected laboratories at GAEC.
A workshop would be organised for selected stakeholders in the plastic production and waste management industry on “Reutilising and Recycling Polymeric Waste through Radiation Modification for the Production of Industrial Goods”.
The project counterpart, Dr Harriet Danso-Abbeam, who is also a Senior Research Scientist at GAEC, would accompany the IAEA expert to tour some existing plastic recycling plant facilities as part of her activities.
The assessment for the project comes at a time MESTI has launched a Plastic Waste Management Campaign in a renewed effort to tackle plastic waste in the country.
According to the National Plastics Management Policy, in Ghana, some 120 companies manufacture over 52,000 tonnes of various plastics and plastics products per year.
Presently, the exact quantities and sources of origin of plastics imported into the country are not monitored and are therefore not known, however waste plastics have been well researched. More than one million tonnes of plastic waste are generated every year.