MUNTAKA CHASANT
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Ghana Plastic Pollution

Plastic Pollution in Ghana: Video and Photos

A quick glimpse of the plastic soup we have cooked.

March 9, 2020

March 9, 2020

14 Min read time

The plastic-waste choked Korle Lagoon near the center of Accra, Ghana's capital city. Ghana is facing a plastic waste crisis. © 2020 Muntaka Chasant

A quick glimpse of the plastic soup we have cooked.

We are at a crisis point.

Plastics have entered the fossil records. This means that the current geological epoch is being shaped by plastic waste.

It will take roughly around 450 years for plastic bottles1 to break down in the environment.

Scientists recently found up to 1.9 million microplastic concentrations in the Tyrrhenian Sea2 covering just 1 square meter near the seafloor — the greatest quantity yet reported.

A study3 in 2017 estimates that 8.3 billion tons of plastics have been produced to date (since 1950s), and about 79% are still in the environment.

More than 10 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year4.

Up to around 2.41 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean every year from rivers alone, a study in the journal Nature5 estimates.

It’s still being debated, but it definitely looks like we are already in the Plastic Age.

8 Global Plastic Pollution Facts

  • Over 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide every year.
  • The average working life of a plastic bag is just 15 min.
  • China produces the largest amount of microplastics globally and responsible for roughly around 26% release into the environment.
  • More than 270 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated every year around the world.
  • Approximately 55% of plastic waste produced worldwide in 2015 were discarded.
  • Around 42% of the total volume of plastic used worldwide in 2016 was for packaging — 141 million tonnes per year.6
  • There are more than 150 million tonnes of plastics in the ocean.
  • The ocean is expected to contain 1 million tonne of plastics for every 3 million tonnes of fish by 2025

Visit the immediate story below to see shocking photographs of urban poor men swim in the heavily polluted Korle Lagoon to recover PET bottles.

Plastic Pollution and Waste in Ghana Statistics

Ghana is facing a severe plastic waste crisis.

Ghana’s urban waterways are chocked with single-use plastics — unbranded plastic takeaway food boxes, water bottles, pure water plastic bags, shopping bags, etc.

According to a UNDP report, Ghana generates around 1 million tonnes of plastic waste each year. Only about 5% are recycled. The rest accumulates in the environment, with roughly 23% ending up in the ocean.

Ghana is facing a severe plastic waste crisis.

The plastic waste which ends up in the ocean threatens marine life.

The video below reveals what we have done to our environment, and why we must act quickly.

Video: Effects of Plastic Pollution in Ghana

The above video shows single-use plastic waste floating on the surface of the Korle Lagoon in Agbogbloshie, Accra, Ghana, as some of the plastics head for the ocean. Fed by the Odaw River, the Korle Lagoon links to the Gulf of Guinea, the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean.

Visit the link below to read more about Ghana’s plastic pollution problems:

RELATED: Plastic Pollution in Ghana: Causes, Effects & Solutions

Plastic Pollution in Ghana Photos

Some plastic pollution in Ghana photos.

How would you tackle Ghana’s plastic pollution problems? Leave your comment below.

© 2020 Muntaka Chasant

Sources

  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20181224092346/https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/coastal/trash/documents/marine_debris.pdf
  2. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/29/science.aba5899
  3. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782?ijkey=e82adb26659b810c29768aa9ac71495f53b14801&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha
  4. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6223/768?ijkey=BXtBaPzbQgagE&keytype=ref&siteid=sci
  5. https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15611
  6. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782

March 9, 2020

14 Min read time

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