14 July 2023
From plastic bottles to beds, how a group of students are making a difference to beat plastic pollution
The menace of plastic pollution in our oceans is rising and is projected to triple by 2040 if nothing is done. At this rate, every little effort is needed to beat plastic pollution. Recently, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Accra teamed up with a group of students, led by Alicia Asante, a 17-year-old student from SOS Tema for a beach cleanup exercise and a recycling project to repurpose plastic bottles. Plastic bottles were also collected and repurposed into beds which was donated to the Tema Manhean Polyclinic. The goal was to inspire the youth to take action by safeguarding the environment to protect their future. Speaking on what motivates her to rally young people to embark on this environmental project, Ms. Asante said she was awakened by the mass of plastic pollution when she saw storm drains filled with plastic bottles anytime it rained in the country. "After seeing the sheer amount of plastic waste generated in our community, I knew we had to do something. Creating beds from plastic bottles was a great way to bring attention to the possibilities of plastic recycling” she said. The Public Information Assistant for UNIC, Ms. Majorie Akosua Otu, highlighted the importance of such initiatives, especially by the youth in an effort to safeguard the environment which aroused the interest of UNIC to partner with these students to embark on this initiative hoping it would also motivate other students. “UNIC Accra is glad to have partnered with these students in making the beds. By repurposing plastic bottles into these beds, we are helping to reduce and reuse plastic waste. Every effort, no matter how small, can make a significant difference in achieving an environmentally conscious world. We hope the donation today will inspire others to take action and do their part” she said. Receiving the donation on behalf of the clinic, a Medical Officer, Dr. Edmund Gattor said they were grateful to have received the beds and was impressed with the creativity of the youth to repurpose the bottles. Adding that the clinic would put the beds to good use. “It will go a long way to support the people who come here…we appreciate your effort” he said. The Nursing Officer at the clinic, Madam Juliana Bimpong-Monnie said the beds will add to the bed capacity in the clinic. “Putting this beautiful thing together with your hands is amazing. It goes to tell us that the future is bright and that our incoming future generation is thinking of great ways to make our society better which is a laudable idea.” she added.