Plastic Punch, UNDP, and EU collaborate to mark 2022 World Ocean Day in Accra – urging citizens to take action to save the oceans from plastic pollution

Posted June 6, 2022

Cross-section of UNDP Staff at the beach clean up.

Plastic Punch, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union in Ghana marked the 2022 World Ocean Day with a beach clean-up exercise, calling on citizens to take action to save the oceans from plastic pollution for a sustainable future.

The beach clean-up exercise was undertaken at the Regional Maritime University Beach ahead of World Ocean Day on the theme “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean”.

Speaking at the clean-up exercise, Mr. Richmond Kennedy Quarcoo, Executive Director of Plastic Punch noted that “though beach clean-up exercises are not the solution to the plastic pollution menace, it is a key activity to collect essential data on ‘what’ and ‘who’ is polluting our coastlines to support advocacy towards an Extended Producer Responsibility regime and improved Waste Management in Ghana.  Our aim at Plastic Punch is to continue to work with all partners to raise awareness among citizens on the dangers of marine pollution and how we can contribute to saving and protecting our marine resources and livelihoods since we all depend on the oceans for survival”.

The aim of the beach clean-up exercise is to leverage volunteerism and mass action to reduce the amount of plastic waste going into the oceans whilst raising awareness on the need for sustainable consumption, production, and proper waste management practices in communities towards a sustainable future for all. This is because, the waste that end up in the oceans largely come from improper waste management from inlands.

“With no time to waste, we must re-evaluate our roles in reversing environmental degradation that puts our health, prosperity, peace, and planet at risk. We are taking a step toward revitalizing our oceans, and every citizen, institution, and stakeholder group has a part to play. Let’s all come together to promote environmental stewardship by changing our consumption and production habits”, noted Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana.

The UNDP Resident Representative added that, UNDP will continue to support innovation and work with public and private partners across Ghana’s vibrant innovation ecosystem to expand opportunities for young innovators who are working to keep the oceans healthy.  So far, UNDP, she noted, has provided about $400,000 grants to 11 companies that are promoting waste recovery, creating jobs and livelihoods.

The EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly noted that “improved waste and wastewater management, increased recycling, avoidance of single-use products and product eco-design can efficiently prevent marine litter. To drastically reduce plastic pollution, intensive education and awareness raising is needed, together with resolute policies on plastic reduction and recycling. Some private companies are invested into circular economy to increase profits and create more jobs, and a conducive regulatory framework would scale-up and increase these investments.”

The 2022 beach clean-up exercise organized by Plastic Punch, UNDP and the EU in Ghana mobilized over 250 citizens comprising staff of these organizations, school children, and community volunteers to take action to save the oceans for people and for the planet. Innovators, who are members of the UNDP facilitated Waste Recovery Platform were also involved in the exercise and collected some of the various waste sorted for recycling. This is to complement efforts by Plastic Punch over the years, in leading the charge to protect and revitalize the ocean and everything it sustains through beach cleanup exercises.

World Ocean Day is an annual event marked on June 8 to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean. The day is celebrated worldwide to mobilize and unite citizens to take action for the sustainable management of the world's oceans.

The UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, Angela Lusigi (left) at the beach clean up.

Some UNDP staff at the beach clean-up.

Participants of the beach clean-up

Some UNDP staff with partners.

Partners at the beach

Some UNDP staff at the beach clean up.

UNDP Staff

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For more information and media enquiries contact:

Livia Gassner- Executive Assistant, Plastic Punch

plasticpunchngo@gmail.com, + 233 302 972 403

Praise Nutakor - Head of Communications and Partnerships, UNDP Ghana, praise.nutakor@undp.org, +233-501323566

Rejoice Esi Asante- Press and Information Officer, Delegation of the European Union to Ghana

rejoice-esi.asante@eeas.europa.eu, +233509861485

 

About Plastic Punch

Created in January 2018 by a group of seven young international advocates, Plastic Punch (PP)  is an NGO that aims at promoting a circular economy and environmental preservation, particularly marine conservation, to support sustainable development impacting future generations. Plastic Punch’s objective is also to inspire behavioral change through citizen science and awareness raising towards sustainable waste management practices with an emphasis on reducing plastic pollution as well as coming up with alternative and innovative solutions.

About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, UNDP help nations build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet.

About EU in Ghana

The Delegation of the European Union to Ghana is part of the European Union External Service and is one of the more than 130 Delegations throughout the world. The Delegation has the status of a diplomatic mission and officially represents the European Union in Ghana. It has the mandate to actively promote the values and policies of the European Union, in an open and equal partnership with the Government and people of Ghana. It is also to deepen the political dialogue on all issues of mutual interest and to strengthen the partnership among others.