Coliba, a waste management organization and its partners, Voltic and the Mohinani Group, inaugurated the first permanent community buyback centre for plastic waste recovery in Glefe, Dansoman in Accra, with financial support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana. The centre aims to offer incentives to local communities to collect plastic bottles, aluminium cans and other forms of plastics such as flexible plastics for sale to Coliba.
Speaking at the launch, Prince Kwame Agbata, the CEO of Coliba indicated that, the establishment of the centre will create 7 direct jobs and offer services to over 1000 persons in the community. He said Coliba aims to collect more than 5.6 tons of plastic waste per month, resulting in about 67 tons per a year, and give back about GH₵2800 cedis to the community monthly.
“Everyone can join the program and benefit from rewards in the form of food items and cash in return of plastic. Our goal is to motivate people to collect more plastic waste in their community for recycling”, he added.
The initiative is inspired by the success of its community buyback program, a monthly volunteering program organised every 3rd Saturday of the month. The program started in June 2019 when Coliba and its partners such as Voltic, Coca-Cola, some members of the Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE), Young Africa Leaders Initiative and Green Legends came together to reach low income and coastal communities with high presence of plastic pollution. As part of this initiative, an educational campaign was launched in selected communities to enlighten community members on the value of plastic waste. Thereafter, Coliba started collecting plastic waste, recycles them and brings them back to customers to produce fabrics for clothing.
Francois Gazania, Managing Director of Voltic expressed his appreciation to all partners. He stated that, in 2018 when Voltic started the Irecycle programme in partnership with Coliba, the aim has been sustainability and inclusiveness.
“I am happy to see the implementation of this waste recovery centre as one of the critical paths of managing post-consumer waste recovery. We look forward to many more of such innovations and partnerships that impact environmentally, socially, and economically even as industry continues to discuss a sustainable financial model towards plastic waste management in Ghana”, he said.
Coliba was one of the winners of the ‘Waste’ Recovery Innovation Challenge under the Waste Recovery Platform being facilitated by UNDP with the aim to connect stakeholders in the waste management value chain to promote partnerships and access to real-time data.
“UNDP sees this community buyback initiative as laudable as this will facilitate waste collection for recycling with the direct involvement of the communities. We will encourage all the winners of our ’Waste’ Recovery Innovation Challenge to use the seed funding received to attract more partnerships to support plastic waste management efforts in the country”, noted Paolo Dalla Stella, Head of Climate and Environment Cluster of UNDP Ghana.
Coliba intends launching three other Centres by June 2020 to increase waste collection in Accra.