World Environment Day: A wake up call to end plastic pollution

We must develop strategies to reduce avoidable plastic use

Published : 05 Jun 2023 08:57 PM

World Environment Day was observed in the country as elsewhere around the world on Monday with the theme ‘Solutions to Plastic Pollution’. The day is observed annually on June 05 to raise awareness about environmental protection and sustainability.

More than 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year half of which is designed to be used only once from which Less than 10 per cent is recycled. An estimated 19 to 23,000,000 tonnes of it ends up in lakes, rivers, and seas. Today plastic logs or landfills in the oceans and changed form into toxic smoke, making it one of the greatest threats to the planet.

Plastic is polluting every corner of the planet. The scale of plastic pollution has become alarming with millions of tonnes of plastic waste existing almost everywhere posing serious threats to human and animal health and destroying nature as well. We do not know exactly how long plastic products take to degrade, but we know that once they are in our soil, rivers and oceans, it is almost impossible to clean up. 

Necessary steps should be

 taken to scale up plastic 

waste collection and reinforce 

recycling capacity through investment

The plastic we see washing up on shores and floating on the water’s surface is only the tip of the iceberg. Currently, the overwhelming majority of plastic products aren’t biodegradable. As such the plastic in use today is likely to stick around for thousands of years, posing a threat to the lives of animals, aquatic organisms and humans alike.

Considering the fact that plastic use is unavoidable, recycling of plastic waste has become more than a necessity. We cannot reduce its use due to its flexibility but we can surely reuse it to minimise its impact on environment. We need to conduct awareness campaigns to convince consumers to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics and encourage them to move towards healthier and more sustainable ways of living that will benefit their families and their communities. It is time to determine concrete targets and devise roadmaps for reducing avoidable plastic use. Necessary steps should be taken to scale up plastic waste collection and reinforce recycling capacity through investment.

The fight against plastic pollution is twofold: First we must contain it, and then we must eradicate it. In order to reduce plastic pollution, we all have an essential role to play, from making small lifestyle changes -- such as shopping with reusable bags -- to raising our voices for more progressive and sustainable policies.  Our voices can become an impetus behind public policy decisions