World Environment Day: Moving Towards A Plastic Free Future

| June 5 , 2018 , 13:17 IST

World Environment Day is observed to create awareness about the environment. The campaign lays emphasis on the need to protect the environment and for sustainable waste disposal. The world is waking up to the issues of climate change and factors affecting the climate.

(UN) United Nations has designated 5 June as World Environment Day. It is centred on a specific theme every year. Plastic is the most repugnant threat that has put our planet at risk, the theme for 2018 is 'Beat Plastic Pollution'. The focus is on curbing the use of plastic across the world. Studies show that 5 trillion plastics are used in the world.

India being the world's second-largest country by population, produces 25,000 tons of plastic waste a day. India needs to make a collective effort to reduce the usage of plastic. India this year, being the global host of World Environment Day has already created a lot of buzz. The country has been actively reducing the usage of plastic bags for the past few years by banning plastic bags in 25 states and Union Territories. India is making sure that this year's World Environment day is historic, celebrating by conducting beach clean-up drives.

Sikkim has emerged as a role model, not just for Indian states but for rest of the world as well. It banned disposable plastic bags in 1998 and was the first to target single-use plastic ban. The hilly state went forward and banned the use of packaged drinking water in government offices and events. It also banned the use of Styrofoam and thermocol disposable plates and cutlery in the entire state to cut down toxic plastic pollution and tackle the garbage problem.

For the last 10 months, the fishermen of Kerala are doing their best to keep the water plastic free. They have removed 10 tonnes of plastic bags and bottles. Even if they are a not much in number they have freed the sea from 25 tonnes of plastic waste.

"The country has demonstrated tremendous global leadership on climate change and the need to shift to a low carbon economy, and India will now help galvanize greater action on plastics pollution. It’s a global emergency affecting every aspect of our lives. It’s in the water we drink and the food we eat. It’s destroying our beaches and oceans. India will now be leading the push to save our oceans and planet," Erik Solheim, Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme said on Monday.