ACCRA, Ghana, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Ghana officials say they've banned the importation of second-hand refrigerators to reduce energy consumption and protect the environment.
Many older fridges imported into Ghana, mostly from the European Union, contain chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons that damage the Earth's ozone layer, officials said.
Banned or being phased out in Europe, such refrigerators are thought to be common in Africa.
The import ban has made Ghana "a pioneer in West Africa," Ghana's Energy Commission head Alfred Ofosu-Ahenkora told the BBC.
Some 2 million used fridges have been imported into Ghana, the commission said, and because they weren't built for use in Africa, they consume too much electricity.
In Accra used refrigerators are in demand at the city's second-hand shops because not all residents can afford a new one, the BBC said.
Ghana has begun a rebate scheme to try and get people to turn in used refrigerators for a new one.