To say plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to environmental sustainability is an understatement. To put it bluntly, the world is engulfed in plastic filth posing grave consequences to both humans and animals alike. The problem is purely human-generated and there is no denying that a collective effort would be required to salvage the situation and bring things under control.
Already the menace of plastic waste has prompted efforts to write a global treaty negotiated by the United Nations. The treaty signed in 2019 is supposed to serve as a wake-up call. But when you take a stroll along our beaches or water bodies, one would soon recognise the severity of the problem we face – and the fact that even without the UN treaty, we have got to do something urgent about the situation.
Corporate organisations have come to recognise that they equally have a duty to the society in which they operate as far as the issue of plastic pollution is concerned. In Ghana, Fan Milk for instance has demonstrated its practical solutions to the waste engulfing our environment.
The company in 2018 commenced an initiative to educate school pupils on proper disposal of plastic waste and practice this through a wrapper collection promo. The idea behind the initiative is to teach these young adults to keep their surroundings clean or proper disposal of plastic waste.
The Wrapper Collection Promo falls under the company’s FanChoco School Caravan project — a nutrition and sanitation program designed to educate children on nutrition and healthy lifestyle as well as the importance of sanitation. This year’s campaign also focused on creating awareness on the adherence to the covid-19 protocols.
As a member of the Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) – an industry-led coalition formed under the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) with a stake in the plastics sector to integrate sustainable waste management solutions, particularly around plastics – Fan Milk Plc understands that keeping the environment safe requires a multi-stakeholder approach.
Considering the fact that a long-lasting solution to the plastic menace requires a behavioral change, involving the pupils at such an early stage would no doubt lead to the desired outcome in the future.
At the event to reward the highest wrapper collecting students and schools, the Ghana Education Service director for Tema Metropolis, Mrs Bernice Ofori, made a profound statement that further underlines the essence of this initiative.
“Vast health disparities exist in our nation and far too many children do not attend school in environments that do not support their health. Unless we address these challenges, the consequences are enormous for children’s learning and for their lifetime health. I would therefore like to commend FanMilk Ghana for introducing the “FanChoco School Caravan campaign in our 104 schools,” she noted.
In her opinion, the fact that the campaign had an all-inclusive approach, engaging both the students and teachers and at some point even the parents demonstrate the commitment Fan Milk has towards nutrition and health.
The wrappers collected are sent for recycling in line with the GRIPE initiative. And according to Kwame Asamoa Mensa-Yawson, the Project Coordinator at GRIPE, the wrapper collection has been very impactful as it falls in line with GRIPE’s main goal which is recovering plastics from the environment.
“I would like to encourage the children to still take up this act of collecting plastics after the event and encourage their peers in schools, communities, and at churches to become improve on their waste practices,” he said.
The FanChoco School Caravan has come to stay, and it will continue in its efforts to educate students, teachers, parents, and the entire public on the importance of sanitation, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle and on Covid-19 protocols.
Let us all become a part of this great initiative by practicing proper waste disposal which will ensure that our environment is kept clean and made safe for generations to come.