Invited by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and coordinated by the Wuppertal Institute, 15 experts from Ghana are on a trip through Germany and Belgium to learn about European concepts on circular economy and Extended Product Responsibility (EPR). The participants work for ministries and local authorities in Ghana. At GreenDot in Cologne, welcomed by CEO Laurent Auguste, they learned about the history of the introduction of EPR for packaging in Germany. Der Grüne Punkt (GreenDot) in Germany introduced the world's first separate collection of used sales packaging in 1991.
Since then, the group has built up enormous expertise on the topics of circular economy, in particular plastic recycling, and is now developing this further into a holistic concept, including chemical recycling. Participants were impressed with what is possible in plastics recycling today, and the positive effect that EPR has in securing reliable recycling infrastructure.
Ghana has taken several steps to address plastic packaging and implement initiatives to promote sustainability, waste reduction and responsible consumption. The goal is to reduce the negative impact of plastic packaging on the environment and promote a more sustainable and circular economy. Various initiatives have been launched by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses and community groups to address the problem of plastic waste in Ghana.
Two presentations from the Ghana Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources provided information on waste management, initiatives such as the Ghana National Plastic Action Partnership and the particular challenges the country faces regarding waste management and recycling. EPR, as the afternoon at GreenDot showed, is a key concept for developing and, above all, financing infrastructure. The participants were very interested in continuing the active dialogue.