The Port of Tema has not been spared the menace of the plastic pollution. Due to the poor waste management system in the Metropolis, huge volumes of plastic waste end up at the beaches. Whenever it rains, and depending on the wind direction, plastic waste is carried into the port basin, especially at the Fishing Harbour, creating filthy condition on the water surface. The Port Authority tried to tackle this issue by engaging a contractor to daily clean the water surface to remove plastic waste and ensure its proper disposal. This did not have much impact because the waste continued flowing into the port.
The Port of Tema was determined to address the issue, prevent ocean plastic pollution and inspire the preservation of Ghana’s coastal waters and shorelines. Furthermore, the target was to help protecting Ghana’s marine ecosystems and add to the global strategy to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans.
Therefore, the Port Authority fostered a partnership with Coastal Conservancy Organization (CCO), a Non-Governmental Organization, aiming to find suitable solutions. These included identifying the sources of the plastic waste and cleaning-up in such way so as to prevent waste from entering to the Port basin. A number of neighboring coastal beaches were identified and with support and partnership from Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA), CCO embarked on regular and sustainable cleaning of the beaches around the Port of Tema. This initiative that initially focused on resolving the plastic waste issue in the Port, has then extended beyond the port environs and is nowadays a clear success story.
Key outcomes included:
- The significant reduction of plastic waste volumes entering the port and the ocean.
- Ensuring clean shorelines along Accra / Tema coastal zone to improve coastal tourism.
- Creating better conditions for fisheries and aquaculture development.