World Environment Day 2018
The annual UN World Environment Day took place on June 5th 2018, hosted in India – it was inaugurated in 1974 and falls on the same date each year. The aim is to generate global awareness of key environmental issues and help encourage action, at individual, national, and global levels.
This year, the focus has been on plastic – something we have all heard about and seen the consequences of via documentaries such as Blue Planet 2, and the recent surge of coverage in the media. In light of World Environment Day, the hashtag #BeatPlasticPollution went viral on social media, and the word was spread by a host of celebrities, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor Adrian Gernier, and musician Moby, to name a few, who publicised what they were doing to contribute to the movement. Prince Charles also addressed the efforts made to tackle the problem of plastic in the oceans and reiterated the important consequences of this issue.
What has come out of it?
A number of activities and initiatives have taken place across the globe. Some key highlights include:
- Host country India has led the way by pledging to remove all single use plastic throughout the country by 2022 – an ambitious but positive target – whilst also looking to create litter-free zones around 100 monuments countrywide, including the Taj Mahal.
- South Sudan has published its first ever ‘State of the Environment’ report found here
- One of the dirtiest beaches in Peru, Carpayo Beach, saw more than 1000 volunteers from different groups gather together for a mass clean up. A similar clean up took place in Haiti
- Wales has pledged to introduce water refill points along its coastal paths – meaning no need to buy plastic bottles
- Art installations made from various recycled materials have been erected in South-East Asia, such as this sand turtle made with plastic bottles made by Sudarsan Pattnaik in India.
- Sherpas in Nepal were involved in a tree planting ceremony at the International Mountaineers’ Memorial Park in Kakani.
- Nigeria committed to the implementation of recycling plants in the country
- Pop-up events have taken place in various locations – for example a Green Fair was held in New York by the UN, and events took place in Bahrain in schools and the local mall
- Beijing Capital International Airport (the busiest in China) promoted World Environmental Day across the airport with posters
- The World Sailing and International Olympic Committee signed a pledge to reduce the environmental impact of sports, and join the UN Clean Seas campaign
- The European Commission has launched a single-use plastic initiative
- National Geographic has launched a ‘Planet or Plastics?’ campaign to raise awareness and share key information, which can be found on its website
- UN Environment has collaborated with Litterati, an app that has been developed to track and map litter across the world
The list goes on…
The sheer reception and enthusiasm that World Environment Day and the fight against plastic pollution has seen this year has been phenomenal. Doing simple things such as avoiding or removing plastic cutlery and straws, taking your own bags to the supermarket, and using a reusable water bottle are just some of the many things that you can do to beat plastic pollution.
Of course, plastic is just one aspect of the wider environmental concern.
Contact us and we can help your business become more environmental, and be a part of this great global movement.
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