RECYCLING OF PLASTICS WASTE IN GHANA; A WAY TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS/POLLUTIONS

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ABSTRACT
Solid wastes management has become a major concern in most countries around the world and Ghana is no exception. The problem of solid wastes especially Plastic wastes in Ghana keep on increasing as the amount of plastic wastes generated in daily basis is very alarming and these plastic wastes litter the environment.

In Ghana, the populace has not appreciated the danger that plastic wastes have on the environment, animals and humans. They are not aware that plastic is not biodegradable and it takes very long years to degrade. As a result, plastic wastes make our environ-ment filthy, chokes our drainage systems (gutters) and breeding grounds for mosquitoes resulting in bad smell from choked gutters and diseases such as malaria and cholera from mosquitoes and flies respectively.

Landfilling of solid wastes which includes plastics is the common way of managing sol-id wastes in Ghana, which also comes with some problems in a long round. Although there are other ways of managing wastes but the only best, effective and economic way of managing plastic wastes by mechanical recycling. Using mechanical recycling to manage plastic wastes would create jobs for the people and provide raw materials for plastic manufacturing companies as recycled granules.


The information used in writing this thesis work was gathered through observation by the author and also from the textbooks and other sources in accomplishing the tasks. The recommendations from this thesis work would be helpful in management of plastic wastes in Ghana if implemented in the future.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1          INTRODUCTION
1.1       Objectives
1.2       Literature Sources
1.3       Limitations of the study

2          PLASTICS AND PLASTIC WASTES
2.1       History of Plastics
2.2       What are Plastics
2.3       Types of Plastics
2.3.1    Polyethylene
2.3.2    Polystyrene
2.3.3    Polypropylene
2.3.4    Polyvinyl chloride
2.4       Sources of Plastic Wastes
2.4.1    Metropolitan, Municipal, District waste
2.4.2    Commercial Wastes
2.4.3    Industrial Wastes
2.5       Hazards of Plastic Wastes
2.5.1    Land
2.5.2    Water
2.5.3    Air

3          RECYCLING AND RECOVERY PROCESSES OF PLASTIC WASTES
3.1       Collection of plastics
3.2       Sorting
3.3       Chipping or shredding
3.4       Washing
3.5       Pelletizing

4          METHODS OF RECYCLING PLASTIC WASTES
4.1       Mechanical Recycling
4.2       Feedstock or chemical recycling
4.3       Incineration of plastic wastes

5          MANUFACTURING PROCESS OF PLASTICS
5.1       Injection Moulding
5.2       Extrusion moulding process
5.3       Blow moulding
5.3.1    Injection blow moulding
5.3.2    Extrusion blow Moulding

6          BENEFITS AND SHORT FALLS OF RECYCLED PLASTICS
6.1.1    Social benefits
6.1.2    Environmental benefits
6.1.3    Economic benefits
6.2       Products made from Recycled plastics
6.3       Short falls of Recycling of Plastic Wastes
6.4       Results

7          CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
7.1       Conclusions
7.2       Recommendations
References


1   INTRODUCTION
The world has been facing the environmental waste problems and Ghana is no excep-tion.

Ghana also faces the problem of its own for the past years especially solid waste. For more than two decades, the amount of plastic waste littering the streets of Ghana has been a crucial environmental problem. There is no a proper way of collecting plastic waste and the people are not educated as to the problems of plastic waste.

Whenever anyone wants water to drink, they buy the sachet water, even for their homes. After they drink the water they drop the sachet in the streets from cars, buses and so on. The plastic waste dumped in the streets find their way in blocking drains, which can cause flooding and other plastic waste makes into the water bodies with unsightly tan-gles of plastic waste.

The plastic waste generated throughout the Ghana brings to the table how to effectively manage these plastic wastes to save the environment from its already existing problems. The problem of organic solid wastes management is not big issue as compare to plastic wastes since organic solid waste is biodegradable.

However, the non-biodegradable nature of plastic waste poses a big problem since the plastic waste can stay in the environment for a quiet period of time causing all sorts of problems.

The most common methods of solid waste disposal in Ghana are through the combus-tion and land filling. In the case of Plastic waste disposal, burning of the plastic waste does not only get rid of it but produces carbon dioxide which is the major contributor of global warming. The non-biodegradable nature of the plastic waste, burying them in the ground is the appropriate environmental and economical way to dispose plastic waste.


The way forward for plastic waste disposal is through recycling. Recycling of plastic Waste will bring numerous benefits to Ghana. Recycling of plastic waste is environmental friendly as compared to the other ways to dispose plastic waste.

1.1  Objectives
In writing the thesis the following objectives were set up to guide the author;

1.    Identify the disposal and management of plastics waste

2.    Identify the types of plastics materials in the waste

3.  Design a management system for collecting and sorting of plastic waste

4.  Find out the effect plastic brings to the environment

5.  Identify the recycling processes of plastic waste

6.  Find out the benefit of recycling plastic waste



1.2  Literature Sources
In gathering information, quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to gather information and data when writing this thesis.

The quantitative research method here focuses on the numerical data which will be col-lected from the waste management organisation or agencies or departments.

The qualitative research method was also focused on additional information and data such as literature reviews, photo taking, observations, case study, internet sources and interviews.


1.3  Limitations of the study

In gathering data for the thesis work is the biggest problem that the writer faces. The Writer could not get documented data from the waste management agencies because they thought the writer may use the data to tarnish the image of the country in return for monetary reward in Europe in the expense of the country. They said, people come for data with the mind of helping them to solve to the problem but the end is other way round. Also, the writer was not able go to many place of study due to lack of funds. The cost of traveling to Ghana and staying there in order to gather data involves a lot. Again, the author was forced to use observation, photo taking, previous work and literature on internet for the thesis work. The author was not able to get feedback from the question....


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