A Ghanaian Environmental Engineer, Isaac Hagan, has come out with an innovative way that harnesses the services of prison inmates to reduce plastic pollution and flooding in our communities.
The idea can help contain hazardous and chemical waste and subsequently raise revenue to support the upkeep of inmates at the country’s prisons.
Mr Hagan, the Chief Executive Officer of Great Barrier Reef Africa-GBRA (an environmental NGO), plans to donate 50 heavy-duty waste plastic shredders to the Ghana Prisons Service for inmates to produce plastic flakes for sale to plastic recycling companies.
The prisons have been chosen for the programme because of the punctuality and dedication that can be achieved.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times yesterday, Mr Hagan said the indiscriminate dumping of plastics around the communities choked drains and contributed to flooding.
“This project will help prevent floods and the incident of microplastics being eaten by fishes in the sea only to become part of the meal human beings consume with attendant health consequences,” he said.
He said each shredder could process two tonnes of high and low density (wrappers) plastics per hour.
Meaning, at least about 400 tonnes of waste plastics can be removed from the communities and processed for sale to recycling companies daily.
Mr Hagan, a Ghanaian-based in France, said the machine parts would be imported from France to be assembled in Ghana, adding that to ensure sustainability of the project, his outfit would train some of the prisoners to maintain the machines.
He said, “Plastic flakes can be used as raw material for new plastic products or alternatively moulded into large containers to store away waste chemicals and hazardous waste as they do not permit leakage into the environment or better still they can be moulded into plastic blocks for building and road construction.”
“Indeed, plastic flakes can be put to many lucrative uses, and GBR-Africa wants to share this knowledge with the Prisons Service,” he said.
The programme focuses on capturing plastic waste from homes and other public places like schools and markets so school children, for instance, would be motivated to bring nicely wrapped plastic waste from the house to collection points at schools.
Mr Hagan said prison establishments with shredders could establish collection systems from schools and other public places to feed the plant.
In a related development, Mr Hagan has constructed a warehouse at Dawhenya to be donated to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).