UN Issues Urgent Call for Curbs on Use of Plastic

World Environment Day 2018 India is the global host this year and the theme is Beat Plastic Pollution

World Environment Day 2018 India is the global host this year and the theme is Beat Plastic Pollution

Union environment minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said he would give up single-use plastic as a first step towards ridding India of it by 2022.

"Plastic pollution is a huge issue everywhere", U.N. Environment chief Erik Solheim told The Associated Press in an interview.

The event emphasised the role of schools, colleges and universities in protecting nature and environment as well as beating plastic pollution, stated another official release.

India is among the world's fastest growing economies and is committed to raising the standards of its people, but in a way that is sustainable and green, Modi said on World Environment Day.

The forum was jointly organised by the Australian High Commission, Ghana Wildlife Society and the USAID funded West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change, and assembled stakeholders in the environment to discuss and find practical ways too, "Beat Plastic Pollution".

He praised India for its growing focus on environmental protection but also noted that while traveling in the country he'd seen "some of the most handsome scenic places, but destroyed by plastic pollution".


He said that Egypt consumes 12 billion tons of single-use plastic bags annually, at a cost of LE 2 billion, adding that the agency tends to reduce the use of plastic bags through encouraging producers to manufacture disposable and paper bags.

It may be noted here that, India is the global host of 2018 World Environment Day to combat single use of plastic pollution. Doing away with plastic is hard, given their use virtually across every segment-electronics, transportation, construction, textiles. This should be started from our youth and students by making it part of our syllabus highlighting in detail how these plastic bags pose many a risk to our health and environment at large. While it took us almost 20 years to beat polio, it was only possible because the whole country was united against the cause.

Up to five trillion plastic bags are used each year, and 13 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the oceans annually. Estimates predict that the manufacturers will generate around three hundred and sixty million tonnes of the plastic this year itself. "When it rains, a lot of plastic materials littered in different places are carried away to the rivers and other water bodies and sometimes they end up affecting aquatic animals' lives", said the Minister.

"The Government of Canada will continue to drive progress on the environmental challenges we face as a global community, and protect the clean air and water we share".

"Refuse what you can't re-use", he asserted.

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