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“The average lifespan of a Bowhead whale is two hundred years. Jeanne Calment lived for a hundred and twenty-two years. However long these years may seem, they can by no means be compared to the decades of existence of plastic waste. It is not the mere longevity of these plastics that has a caused a rise in the global discussion concerning them, however, when their non-degradable nature seeks to threaten the very sustainability of the environment and its inhabitants, revolutionary solutions must be sought”, Ann Aseye Donya, an Achimota School  student.

She describes a Recycle Up led project to build a Christmas Tree made from plastics, not only a creative, but revolutionary solution to the plastic menace.

This idea borne out of the Nationwide Waste Education Campaign (NWEC) project aims at bridging theoretical contents with practical hands-on experiences for students to understand the shift from plastic being a waste to a resource.

Together with the schools’ ambassadors, volunteers and with the help of MckingTorsh Africa, the magical tree was successfully installed. This was part of Recycle Up! Ghana’s Nationwide Waste Education Campaign (NWEC), a project that provides environmental education to pupils and students to generally instill a culture of waste reduction and development of a more regenerative lifestyle.

Since its inception in 2019 , the NWEC project at Achimota School has cooperated with the school to have an active plastic segregation system having donated close to two hundred and sixty segregation baskets across 18 schools in Accra, Cape Coast and Kumasi. In 2019, the SRC took up the project to create a greener campus.

The plastic and sachet bottles collected were used to support activities of the SRC. The project also included Modular Waste Management Training for members of the Green Club creating a multiplicity of impact.

As Mr. Anthony Adjetey Adjei, the school’s project lead reiterated that, the project helps students to undestand the potential opportunities in recycling and reusing of plastics as seen in the creation of a Christmas tree. This proves that we can go beyond segregation to creating artefacts on the school compound.

As Felix Kofi Boakye, a visual arts student put it, the next time you need a tree for Christmas, look at the bright side of a bin.

Mr. Goodlet Owusu Ansah, the NWEC Project’ Coordinator’ said that “our plastic waste (pet bottles and other single reusable plastics) is no waste until we waste it. Together, let’s co-create sustainable solutions in our schools.”

The writers are Ann Aseye Ama Donya (Student, Achimota School), and Felix Kofi Boakye (Student, Achimota School/Art School Curator).

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