Every year, June 5 is observed as World Environment Day to raise awareness and increase government action on one pressing environmental issue. This year, the theme is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ with focus on single-use or disposable plastic.
India is the host to this year’s World Environment Day.
TN to ban single-use plastics
On World Environment Day, Tamil Nadu has decided to ban single use plastics such as polythene bags and bottles. The decision was announced by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in the ongoing Assembly session.
The ban will come to effect from next year and essential goods such as milk, oil and medicines have been exempted from the ban.
The State has already banned manufacture and use of plastic bags below 51 microns.
Modi greets citizens
“Greetings on #WorldEnvironmentDay. Together, let us ensure that our future generations live in a clean and green planet, in harmony with nature,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 5, 2018
In a tweet, President Ram Nath Kovind has said: “On World Environment Day, we reaffirm our commitment to a cleaner and sustainable planet. India is hosting the global celebrations this year. And we are obligated to bequeathing a greener and eco-friendly legacy to our children.”
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu urged citizens to get back to our roots and preserve the nature.
“From times immemorial Indians believed in living with nature as encapsulated in ‘Vruksho Rakshathi Rakshithaha’. Let us get back to our roots and preserve our culture and nature. All of us have a responsibility to handover a greener and cleaner planet for our future generations.
“Let us take a pledge to ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, the theme of World Environment Day today. Time has come for every individual to join the campaign to end single-use plastic and protect the environment,” he said.
Tell us how you deal with plastic pollution
Take our short quiz to let us know how you deal with plastic pollution on this World Environment Day.
According to the UN, the last decade has seen more plastic production than the whole of last century. And, according to a Central Pollution Control Board (2015-16) report, the estimated plastic waste generation per annum in our country is 15,89,418 tonnes. About 50% of plastics used are single-use products like straws; and about 500 million straws are used daily in the U.S. alone.
‘Environment day is a mission for India’
For India, World Environment Day 2018 is not a “symbolic” celebration, but a mission, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday.
The Minister, during the World Environment Day celebrations, invited people to take care of their Green Social Responsibility and urged them to take up Green Good Deeds in everyday life.
He said 700 Green Good Deeds are available and people are required to take small positive actions without any extra efforts that can help conserve our environment.
Addressing the gathering, Erik Solheim, Executive Director, U.N. Environment said plastic is a huge environmental and health issue while mentioning that individual in tackling plastic pollution and taking specific measures to deal with single use plastic.
Union Environment Secretary C.K. Mishra highlighted that great ideas have come up during this event and there is a need to package all these ideas in a nice way.
He also briefly highlighted that the Paris Agreement (PA) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the two important agreements that have been adopted in the year 2015.
Greenpeace urges FMCGs to commit to recycling
On the eve of the World Environment Day, Greenpeace urged Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies to take a “hard look” at their production of plastics and commit to “100 per cent recycling” of their waste.
Greenpeace India in a statement sent a strong message to the retailers and FMCG manufacturers, and urged them to “take responsibility for the trash they produce“.
“Greenpeace is calling on companies and manufacturers to take a hard look at their production of plastics and commit to 100 percent recycling of their waste,” it said in a statement.