SAN FRANCISCO - MARCH 2: Recycled plastic bottles are seen at the San Francisco Recycling Center March 2, 2005 in San Francisco, California. Bottled water is the single largest growth area among all beverages, more than doubling over the last decade. Only about 12 percent of plastic bottles, mostly water, were recycled in 2003, according to industry consultant R.W. Beck, Inc. Since most bottled water is consumed away from home where recycling isn't an option, an estimated 40 million bottles a day go into the trash or become litter. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Ms Heather Troutman, a research fellow, Urban Planning, UN Development and Programme, says Ghana produces 1.7 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, which could be recycled to produce affordable and sustainable building materials.

She said Accra, the capital city also produced 300 tonnes of plastic waste in a day. Ms Troutman said it was estimated that less than two per cent of the waste were recycled, however enormous opportunities could be brewed from the waste products.

The calculation is based on the average production of one kilogramme of solid waste per person daily. Ms Troutman disclosed this during a panel discussion at the inaugural edition of The Global Citizens Forum, organised by Rainbow Innovations, a network of experts in project management.

It was on the theme: “SDG 11 and 13: The Benchmark for Sustainable Urban and Rural Disaster Management for climate action in Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The forum is a signature dialogue to deliberate on pressing issues related to sustainable development in Africa and globally with professionals, 17 government organisations and tertiary institutions in Ghana and West Africa.

It featured global citizens actively deliberating on the socio-economic challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa and how the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals can serve as a map or benchmark in the innovation of solutions. The series aimed at engaging professionals and specialists from sectors inter-related to the attainment of the SDGs in Ghana.

Some eminent personalities that spearheaded the panel discussion include: Professor Philip Duku Osei, the Deputy Rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Mr Kojo Williams, Co-Founder of Centre for CSR, West Africa, and Madam Charlotte Nana Norman, the Director for Climate Change Adaptation of National Disaster Management Organisation.

She said: “This is a valuable resource. We can use it to produce affordable sustainable building materials to create sustainable and resilient infrastructure and provide adequate and affordable housing for all.”  Ms Troutman urged government to recycle the waste products to make it more productive since there were lots of opportunities in the industry.