Sub Metro Of The Accra Metropolitan Area Environmental Sciences Essay

Over the old ages, urbanisation, industrialisation and uninterrupted economic growing have occurred worldwide. These procedures have resulted in technological promotions, lifestyle alterations and a general modernisation of society as a whole. As a effect, waste coevals has increased both in type and volume. The sustainable direction of solid waste has hence become a major job for both national and local authoritiess all over the universe ( Global Waste Management Market Report, 2007 ) .

In Ghana, the Environmental Health Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in 2010 estimated that the mean day-to-day waste coevals per capita was 0.75kg for municipal and metropolitan countries and 0.45kg for other little towns. Therefore based on a population of about 4.01million ( GSS. 2012 ) , the Greater Accra Region entirely generates about 1.09 million metric tons of waste yearly. High population growing and its associated addition in urbanisation and economic activities in Accra have made the impact of the society ‘s solid waste really noticeable. Harmonizing to the Government of Ghana ( 2003 ) , the Accra Metropolitan Assembly spends approximately 200,000 Ghana cedis per month on waste aggregation entirely and about 1.2 million Ghana cedis per twelvemonth on urban solid waste direction. This sum does non nevertheless cater for about 30 per cent of solid waste in the city that is littered or dumped on streets, in troughs and nearby H2O organic structures ( EPA, 2002 ) .

1.1.1. Fictile Waste in Ghana

In Ghana, the usage of plastic has been adopted as a more hygienic manner of packaging nutrient, drinks and other merchandises to replace the bing cultural boxing methods such as leaf wrappers, brown paper, cups etc. in metropoliss and towns ( Fobil & A ; Hogarh, 2006 ) .

Over the past two decennaries, Ghanaians have developed a strong gustatory sensation for sachet H2O since it is portable and can easy be carried from one topographic point to another. There is besides a perceptual experience that sachet H2O is cleaner and more mineralized than tap H2O ( Wienaah, 2007 ) . However over the last few old ages, probes conducted by the Food and Drugs Board and other research establishments on sachet H2O from some companies have presented consequences that make them insecure for imbibing ( Addo et al, 2009 ) .

Bottled H2O has over the old ages been promoted by experts as the option to assist cut down the waste generated by the sachet H2O usage. However, hitherto, bottled H2O has been the preserve of the elite and tourers chiefly because of monetary value i.e. 60 pesewas for 500 milliliter as compared to 10 pesewas for 500 milliliter of sachet H2O ( recommended retail monetary values by manufacturers ) and handiness i.e. it was merely available in supermarkets. With the turning chariness of the quality of sachet H2O, more Ghanaians are turning to bottled H2O which is perceived to be of a higher quality than sachet H2O. A survey conducted by Obiri-Danso et Al in 2003 showed that bottled H2O on the Ghanese market is of good microbiological quality while the quality of some mill bagged sachet and hand-filled/hand-tied polythene-bagged imbibing H2O did non run into WHO criterions for imbibing H2O. The handiness of bottled H2O on the market has hence expanded to run into ingestion demands and it can now be bought everyplace, streets and stores likewise.

On the other manus besides, drink companies in the state that used to offer their drinks merely in refillable glass bottles now offer the option of the same drinks in disposable plastic bottles. Although this option is more expensive it is besides seemingly going progressively popular with the Ghanese public because of the convenience of taking the bottle off. New drink companies are besides jumping up offering low-cost drinks packaged in plastic bottles. Datas from Ghana Standards Authority shows that between 2007 and 2011 over 100 companies in Ghana registered to bring forth drinks and H2O packaged in plastic bottles.

Used plastic bottles in Ghana have ever been sought after for reuse in places and by bargainers. They are reused as containers for palm oil, locally prepared drinks, ‘iced kenkey ‘ etc. The bottles have therefore been limited in the waste watercourse because they are picked and sold for reuse ( Fobil & A ; Hogarh, 2006 ) . With the apparently turning backing of plastic bottled drink, the rate of production of waste bottles may transcend the reuse needs which will constantly take to an addition of fictile bottles in the waste watercourse if alternate utilizations are non explored.

2.0 THE Problem

Over the old ages, the fictile waste from sachet H2O has become a serious job in Ghana particularly in the urban countries. Government governments are still coping to happen solutions to the direction of this job. The turning involvement in fictile bottles in the state has the potency of going a job of equal outrageousness as the sachet H2O job.

Currently, some of the wastes fictile bottles generated in Ghana are reused in places, by local bargainers and little graduated table drink makers and the remainder terminal up on the streets or assorted disposal sites. There is nevertheless dearth of informations on the measure of waste bottles generated in the state every bit good as their destiny.

There are no criterions for the sanitation of bottles for reuse ; therefore there is no monitoring system in topographic point in the state to modulate the operations of little graduated table bargainers who rely on the used bottles. The microbic burden on the reused bottles is unknown and hence airss wellness hazards to consumers.

Again, fictile bottles occupy infinite in landfills and take about 450 old ages to break up ( CLEAN, 2004 ) . When littered about, the bottles choke drains, degrade dirt quality and are washed into nearby H2O organic structures where they degrade the quality of the H2O. The current disposal systems in topographic point in Accra are hence inappropriate and there is the demand to develop a more sustainable direction system for these bottles.

The waste direction hierarchy is a construct that promotes waste turning away in front of recycling and disposal. It is an internationally accepted usher for prioritising waste direction patterns with the aim of accomplishing optimum environmental results. The chances for direction of waste bottles in Ghana can be assessed based on this hierarchy and the most suited and sustainable option evolved.

This survey is of import to bring forth informations and to be able to develop a direction program every bit early as possible to prevent current or possible jobs this type of waste might present in future. Datas from this survey will function as a baseline and a mention point for future surveies.


3.1 Municipal Solid Waste

Any useless, unwanted and discarded stuff which is non liquid or gas, is referred to as solid waste ( Hosetti, 2006 ) . Municipal solid waste ( MSW ) more normally known as refuse in the U.S. or decline in the U.K. consists of residential and commercial non-hazardous waste ( US EPA, 2011 ) . Harmonizing to Strange ( 2002 ) the definition of MSW varies, but typically includes waste originating from private families to that collected by or on behalf of local governments from any beginning. MSW hence includes a proportion of commercial and non-hazardous industrial waste. Strange ( 2002 ) further provinces that depending on the state, the definition can include some or all of:

family wastes

family risky wastes

bulky wastes derived from families

street sweepings and litter

Parkss and garden wastes

Harmonizing to the Global Waste Management Market Report ( 2007 ) an estimated 2.02 billion metric tons of municipal solid waste was generated globally in 2006 stand foring an one-year addition of 7 % since 2003.

In Ghana, it is estimated that the mean day-to-day waste coevals per capita is 0.75kg in metropolitan and municipal countries ( NESSAP, 2010 ) . Harmonizing to the EPA ( 2002 ) urban countries of Accra are estimated to bring forth about 760,000 metric tons of municipal solid waste ( MSW ) per twelvemonth. This figure is expected to increase to 1.8 million metric tons per twelvemonth by 2025 ( EPA, 2002 ) .

3.1.1 Municipal Solid Waste Composition

Globally every bit good as in Ghana, the major components of MSW include organic waste, paper and plastics. Harmonizing to Wienaah ( 2007 ) , the measure and composing of solid waste generated by a society is normally related to the cultural patterns every bit good as the economic degree of the population. Kreith ( 1994 ) further provinces that the factors that tend to increase the per-capita and entire sum of wastes every bit good as their components in waste watercourse include increased population, increased degrees of richness, alterations in life manner, alterations in work forms, new merchandises, redesign of merchandises, material permutation and alterations in nutrient processing and packaging methods. In the sentiment of Strange ( 2002 ) , apart from population denseness and economic prosperity, seasonality, lodging criterions and the presence of waste minimisation enterprises are besides factors that determine the composing of family waste. Commercial waste is besides influenced by the nature of the commercialism. The composing of MSW will besides depend on the specific definition of MSW being applied.

3.1.2 Current Municipal Solid Waste Management Practices

Harmonizing to Strange ( 2002 ) SWM in society has been a challenge for every bit long as people have gathered together in sufficient Numberss to enforce a emphasis on local resources. In the yesteryear, waste from places and industries could be dealt with merely by haling it to crude mopess where it could be buried, eaten by animate beings and burned. This pattern nevertheless still exists in some hapless states.

The chief disposal options for municipal solid waste include disposal in a landfill and incineration. A landfill is a big hole in the land lined with man-made line drive and, in some state-of-the-art installations, fitted leachate and/or methane aggregation equipment. Landfills are normally covered with dirt and/or clay after they are filled ( UNESCO-EOLSS, 2012 ) . Recycling and reuse are besides other signifiers of municipal solid waste direction which are more desirable environmentally. Recycling/reuse cut down the volume of solid waste that need to be disposed of and as a consequence helps to widen the lifetime of disposal installations such as landfills ( Ruzi, 2001 ) .

By and large, solid waste in Ghana is managed through landfills, incineration, recycling or reuse. Landfilling is the preferable method of disposal by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, because it is the most low-cost and requires the least care. However in Accra, landfills are chiefly unfastened mopess without leachate or gas recovery systems. These landfills largely consist of abandoned rock prey sites, gouged natural depressions in the Earth, or semisynthetic holes in the land ( Thompson, 2010 ) .

3.2 Plastics

Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, refers to plastics as “ any of legion organic synthetic or processed stuffs that are mostlyaˆ¦ . polymers of high molecular weight and that can be molded, dramatis personae, extruded, drawn, or laminated into objects, movies, or fibrils. ” Baird & A ; Cann ( 2008 ) describe plastics as polymers, a really big molecule made up of smaller units called monomers which are joined together in a concatenation by a procedure called polymerisation. All the natural stuffs ( except Cl ) from which the plastics are presently made are obtained from rough oil.

Plastics are classified based on the polymers they are made from. The six major types of plastics that are normally reprocessed are Polyethylene ( PE ) ( High-density and Low-density ) , Polypropylene ( PP ) , Polystyrene ( PS ) , Polyethylene terephthalate ( PET ) , Polyvinyl Chloride ( PVC ) ( UNEP, 2009 ) . These six polymers are thermoplastic, intending that with heat they can be melted and reshaped over and over once more. Apart from Low Density Polyethylene ( LDPE ) , all these types of plastics can be used in the bottling industry ( Eubanks et al, 2009 ) .

Plastic is a comparatively inexpensive, lasting and various stuff. Plastic merchandises have brought benefits to society in footings of economic activity, occupations and quality of life. Plastics can even assist cut down energy ingestion and nursery gas emanations in many fortunes, even in some packaging applications when compared to the options ( EC, 2011 ) . Enviros RIS ( 2001 ) further stated that plastics are used by virtually every end-use section of the economic system and that the alone properties of plastics such as processability, light weight and corrosion opposition have led to the creative activity of new merchandises, and plastics have besides displaced paper, glass and metal from traditional applications. Harmonizing to Palminsano and Pettigrew ( 1992 ) , plastics were specifically designed to defy debasement and to be lasting therefore they are inert. This lastingness had been considered to be a positive property for plastics, but now is normally perceived by society as a negative.

3.2.1 Plastic Waste

By and large, fictile waste is the 3rd major component of municipal waste in metropoliss after organics and paper ( CFSR, 2011 ) . The rapid addition in waste plastics universe broad has been attributed to growing in trade and industry and altering ingestion forms. The universe ‘s one-year ingestion of plastic stuffs has increased from around 5 million metric tons in the 1950s to about 100 million metric tons ( UNEP, 2009 ) . The addition in ingestion of plastic is non restricted to merely the developed states, metropoliss in states with low economic growing have besides started bring forthing more fictile waste due to increased usage of plastic packaging, plastic shopping bags, PET bottles and other goods/appliances utilizing plastic as the major constituent ( UNEP, 2009 ) . Harmonizing to the Central Pollution Control Board ( CPCB ) of India ( 2007 ) , there has been a enormous rise in the use of plastic disposables, such as packaging stuffs, house-hold consumer goods, cars, constructing containers, agribusiness, electrical and electronics goods, wellness attention merchandises etc. and this coupled with the cast-off civilization, deficiency of consciousness and indifference among common people has lead to immense measure of such waste on roads, pavings, gardens and Parkss, low-lying country, sewerage drains, H2O organic structures, along railroad paths and everyplace.

In Ghana, the major plastic wastes generated in the state include fictile bottles, polyethylene bags, sachets and negligees. Schweizer & A ; Annoh in 1996 analysed the historical tendency of fictile waste composing in the waste watercourse in Ghana. Their consequences showed that in 1979 the per centum by constituent was 1.4 % and by 1993 it had risen to 4 % . In 1996/97, the proportion of fictile waste in the waste watercourse was 5 % ( Archer et al. , 1997 ) and by 1999/2000 its proportion increased to 8 % ( Fobil, 2000 ) . Presently, it is estimated that 1,980 metric tons ( about 17 % of entire waste generated ) of plastic waste is generated daily in the state, with 70 % of the waste stoping up in drains and at unfastened infinites ( Daily Graphic, 2012 ) . This increasing tendency is shown in figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Percentage of fictile waste watercourse over a period of 30 old ages

Statisticss released by the AMA and other waste direction organic structures indicate some 270 metric tons of fictile waste is generated each twenty-four hours in Accra entirely ( IRIN, 2004 ) . Fictile waste coevals presently stands at 0.016-0.035 kg/person/day ( Fobil & A ; Hogarh, 2009 ) . It is estimated that there are over 40 fictile bring forthing industries in the state bring forthing over 26,000 metric metric tons of finished plastic merchandises per annum. Besides about 10, 000 metric metric tons of finished merchandises are imported yearly into the state ( Fobil, 2001 ) .

3.2.2 Types of Plastic Waste

Harmonizing to Metro Vancouver ( 2008 ) the plastic wastes present in municipal waste watercourses include:

Polyethylene terephthalate ( PET ) soft drink and usage bottles ;

High Density Polyethylene ( HDPE ) bottles and jugs ;

Polyvinyl chloride ( PVC ) bottles ;

Wide oral cavity bath and palpebras which includes LDPE, HDPE, and polypropene ( PP ) ;

Polystyrene ( PS ) ;

Residential movie plastics ( including reclaimable and non-recyclable ) ;

Other residential plastics.

Their residential waste audit 2008 showed an one-year per capita coevals tendency as follows: 7.55kg of plastic movies, 4.96kg of plastic bottles, 3.18kg of other stiff containers, and 3.79kg of durable goodss ( playthings, storage bins, pens, coppices etc ) .

A waste watercourse analysis carried out by the Resource Recovery Forum ( 2001 ) in Eastleigh, UK showed the undermentioned tendency 6.92 % of plastic movies, 3.51 % of nutrient and non-food packaging, 2.52 % of plastic bottles and 2.08 % of other heavy plastic.

3.2.3 Impacts of Plastic Waste

Plastic waste has several impacts on ecosystems and worlds. Some of these are more obvious and clearly proven, for illustration, the web of marine wildlife. Others are less obvious and non good understood, such as the conveyance and possible concentration of contaminations by fictile waste. Again, there appears more cognition of ecological and human wellness impacts in the Marine environment than on land.

Harmonizing to the European Commission DG ENV ( 2011 ) the following tendencies in environmental impacts of plastics are considered to be of most significance:

Rising usage of plastics – The primary plastics feedstock will stay fossil fuels, despite the awaited rapid rise in the production of bioplastics.

Rising degrees of plastic waste coevals – This implies the demand for an expanded waste direction system merely to stay capable of covering with the awaited addition waste production.

Increasing degrees of recycling – Recycling rates are anticipated to increase over the mentality period and terminal markets are developing. However, the proportion of disposal is expected to stay important.

Increasing degrees of export – At present, lifting degrees of recycling in footings of volume and proportions appear to besides be driving an addition in the degree of export of fictile waste for recycling.

The CPCB India in 2007 stated that though plastics are non chemically active their major menace to the environment is basically the fact that they are non-biodegradable and presently lack an efficient aggregation and disposal system. They float in H2O organic structures near to the metropoliss, settle on their beds, and cutting off O to aquatic life and to anything they rest on. They besides affect dirt birthrate and H2O infiltration in the land forestalling the growing of workss. They besides emit toxic gases when burnt ( CPCB, 2007 ) .

3.2.4 Management of Plastic Waste

ENVIS India ( 2008 ) has recommended the 3 R ‘s rule i.e. Reduce, Reuse & A ; Recycle as the basic constituents of any waste hierarchy that has to be understood and implemented to accomplish a sustainable incorporate waste direction. Harmonizing to Metro Vancouver ( 2008 ) the waste hierarchy has taken many signifiers over the past decennary, but this basic construct has remained the basis of most godforsaken direction schemes. The purpose of the waste hierarchy is to pull out the maximal practical benefits from stuffs and to bring forth the minimal sum of waste. The United Nations environmental plan endorses The Waste Management Hierarchy, as do citizen groups, many industry leaders, and authorities functionaries in Europe, North America and Japan ( Wagner, 1995 ) .


Use of Plastic bottles on the rise

Used bottles are reused for local drinks, palm oil etc.

Used bottles are littered about on the streets, in troughs, H2O organic structures

Need to establish sustainable direction steps

Measures being generated and their destiny

Used bottles are disposed of into landfills

Quality of bottles reused

Need for informations

Assess Management Options





5.1 Aims

The aims of this survey are to:

1 ) Quantify the sum in kg of fictile bottle waste generated within the Ayawaso West Sub-metro.

2 ) Determine the destiny of the plastic bottles waste generated.

3 ) Determine the microbiological quality of bottles reused for local drinks ( first reuse ) .

4 ) Assess the direction options ( based on 3R ‘s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle ) within the Ghanese context.

5.2 Research Hypothesiss:

1 ) Backing of bottled drinks in Ayawaso West is presently independent of socio-economic and educational degree.

2 ) A important proportion of waste bottles generated in the Ayawaso West Sub-metro are reused

3 ) Bottles reused for nutrient are non microbiologically safe.


6.1 Study Area

Ayawaso West Sub-metro of the Accra Metropolitan Area

6.2 Sampling Methods

A. Quantification of Waste Plastic Bottles and finding their destiny:

a ) Sampling from Communal Waste Containers

Sampling Locations: 1. Accra Mall: 23m3 skip

2. Legon Campus: 12m3 skip

3. 37 Military Hospital Area: 23m3 skip

Sampling period: Number of yearss: 60days

Sampling Procedure:

The waste plastic bottles will be sorted out of the selected skips on a day-to-day footing

A day-to-day stock list will be taken of the figure of waste plastic bottles retrieved.

Statistical Analysis:

Descriptive statistics such as Frequency tabular arraies and charts will be used to show the consequences.

Student ‘s t-test will be used to prove the significance of the proportion of plastic bottles found in the solid waste.

B ) Interviews

Sampling tool: Semi-Structured Questionnaires

Sample size: 200 persons

Sampling Technique:

Simple Random trying method will be used.

Information required from respondents will include:

Socio-economic position

Educational Status

Backing of bottled drinks

How empty ( waste ) bottles are disposed of

Backing of merchandises in reused bottles

Analysis of Questionnaire:

Descriptive statistics ( frequence and per centums ) will be used in the analysis and the consequences presented in tabular arraies and charts.

A chi-square analysis ( trial of independency ) will be used to prove whether the backing of plastic bottled drinks is dependent on socio-economic and educational position

B. To find the microbiological quality of reused bottles


50 Samples of the followers will be obtained each from 4 market places:

common used PET bottles

washed used PET bottles ( ready for reuse )

The market places: Makola, Madina, Agbogbloshie and Kaneshie

50 new empty PET bottles will besides be obtained as control.

Entire No. of Samples: 450

Laboratory Analysis:

Microbiological analysis will be carried out on the bottles for Entire Coliforms, Faecal Coliforms and Streptococci.

C. Assessing Management Options

This will affect:


Datas from interviews in A. above

Interviews with cardinal stakeholders i.e. waste choosers, market adult females, fictile bottle manufacturers, drink manufacturers and waste direction companies

Assorted Management Scenarios

6.3 Secondary Beginnings of Datas

Journal Articles