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Public urged to avoid stigmatizing plastic waste pickers

August 4, 2023
Public urged to avoid stigmatizing plastic waste pickers

Madam Rosemary Namirembe Abrahams-Mawuli, the Project Manager of the Pick-It Project, has advised the public against stigmatising plastic waste pickers as their work contributes significantly to the sustainability of the environment.

She said the organisation had received several reports of stigmatisation from some plastic waste collectors working with Project and described the name-calling as worrying.

Madam Abrahams-Mawuli gave the advice in an interview with the in on the impact of the project on environmental sustainability and the (SDGs).

She said if the work of pickers, who were mostly women, would be encouraged, it would help reduce the quantity of plastics on land, some of which up in the sea.

She expressed worry over the volume of plastic that the sea “vomits” every time it rained and said it was an indication of the gravity of the plastic waste menace, especially those being dumped into the oceans.

She said the collected plastics could be used by industries through recycling for other products like buckets, cups, beads, and chairs.

“This would not only provide some income and economic power to the pickers, whom people see as engaging in dirty work but also provide employment opportunities for those who would work at the recycling plants and the sellers of the products.”

Madam Abrahams-Williams, therefore, encouraged unemployed people to consider going into the collection and sale of plastic waste, adding that children must also be taught the need to segregate plastic from other waste to make it easy for collection and recycling.

She said inculcating such habits in children would help improve sanitation in Ghana and sustain the environment.

The Pick-It Project is a facility located in Tema Newtown, founded by Environment 360′, a non-governmental organisation, with funding from the International Climate Initiative IKI Small Grant Project.

It has improved the livelihood of more than 300 plastic waste pickers with entrepreneurial skills and added value to their jobs to build their confidence and reduce the stigma.

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