The wealth of plastic recycling: A comparison between plastic recycling companies in Accra and one in Gauteng, South Africa, for improvement purposes

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Accra, the capital city of Ghana is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. This has led to the daily generation of about 2,000 tons of municipal waste. Accra faces a situation in which plastics, the second largest component of waste produced is disposed of primarily through dumping and landfills although plastics do not decompose. However, recycling which is a preferable alternative for disposing of plastics and a profitable industry accounts for about 5% of the waste disposal methods used in Accra. The objective of this paper is to describe the current state of recycling in Accra and draw lessons from a recycling company in Gauteng, South Africa, in order to improve upon the plastic recycling industry in Accra. Non – probability sampling was used to select recycling companies in Accra to partake in the study. A South African plastic recycling company was also involved in the study in order to understand at first – hand the processes involved in plastic recycling in South Africa. The findings show that the plastic recycling industry in Accra is largely unstructured. The technology available to plastic recycling companies accounts for the major difference between the output of the companies in Accra and the company in Gauteng. As such, the government of Ghana should support this sector by partnering with the companies in order to equip them with advanced technology as their activities contribute to the sanitary conditions that exist in Accra.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2016
Accra, Gauteng, recycling, plastics