Today is World Environment Day and it takes place every year on the 5th of June. It is the United Nations’ flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment.
It is the ‘People’s Day’ and acts as a call-to-action to do something positive for the environment. Its aim is to harness individual actions and transform them into a collective power that has a legacy of real and lasting positive impact on our common earth.
With “Beat Plastic Pollution” as the theme for this year’s celebrations, the world has come together to combat single-use plastic pollution. Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging.
If you can’t reuse it, refuse it
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time, with statistics showing that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050.
Plastic pollution starts from the manufacture from fossil fuels, then single-use plastics and end up as deadly waste in landfills and the ocean.
Although Single-use plastics have become embedded in our daily lives, it is now clear that this material has a catastrophic impact on the environment.
“Beat Plastic Pollution”, the theme for World Environment 2018, urges governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together and explore sustainable alternatives and urgently reduce the production and excessive use of single-use plastic polluting our oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health.
Plastic Pollution facts:
- Every year the world uses up to 5 trillion plastic bags
- Each year, at least 13 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, the equivalent of a full garbage truck every minute.
- In the last decade, we produced more plastic than in the whole last century
- More than 50 percent of the plastics we use are single-use
- We buy 1 million plastic bottles every minute
- Plastic makes up 10% of all of the waste we generate
Single-use plastic have an average “working life” of 15 minutes
How to participate in the World Environment Day 2018
Take a look at the following ideas and see how you can take action to make a difference.
1. Take part in the worldwide #BeatPlasticPollution game of tag on social media: remember to use the hashtag #BeatPlasticPollution while driving awareness and sharing commitments on all platforms. When you post about World Environment Day on social media, make sure to use the #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatPlasticPollution hashtags and mention @unenvironment.
2. Carry out a plastic audit: Once you know your plastic footprint, set action in motion to shrink it and quantify it in a way that people can understand
3. For 5 June, World Environment Day, clean up the world: While clean-ups may only address the plastic issue at the end of its life cycle, they are a great way for people to see the extent of plastic waste first-hand and rethink their behaviour.
4. Encourage staff/co-workers/colleagues in and around your organization to make a plastic-reduction pledge: Make a commitment to reduce your business or organization’s use of disposable plastic and tag another, challenging them to do the same.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Could ‘Biodegradable Plastics’ be the “technological solution” to the plastic menace as an alternative to changing behaviour? Or do we BAN plastics outrightly?
Do have a fun-filled day and we would love you to stay on with us as we share Solutions that can be easily implemented towards a future we want.
www.worldenvironmentday.global ; marinesafe.org
Photo Credit: worldenvironmentday.global