World Environment Day 2018 Theme: Overcome Plastic Pollution

June 5, is determined  as the World Environment Day at the United Nations Environment Conference held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972.

Over time, it became a worldwide accepted global platform over 100 countries where environmental issues were addressed. Every year on June 5th, World Environment Day, events are held to raise awareness of the environment and to draw attention to various aspects of environmental problems.

Large corporations, NGOs, communities, governments, and celebrities all around the world are conducting awareness work within the theme set each year. Each year, a different theme hosted by a different country is being worked on. This year's theme is "Beat Plastic Pollution".

Plastic Facts

 In February 2017, 30 plastic bags were found in the stomach of a whale who died at a beachside in Norway.[1]Last April, there was another whale that hit the Spanish shore because of the starvation caused by 29 kilograms of plastic in its stomach.[2]These are vivid examples of how plastic threatens marine life. Every year, thousands of sea turtles and other sea creatures lose their lives by swallowing or being entangled by plastic parts. Every year around 13 million tons of plastic waste is poured into the oceans of the world.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stated in his annual message, that if the present tendencies go on, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 and made a call to refuse the single-use disposable plastic use.

Plastics in the amount that can surround the earth four times in a year, can stay up to 1000 years in nature. Worldwide, 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every 1 minute; each year 5 trillion disposable plastic bags are used.

Despite the fact that many countries have begun to ban plastic bags, published UN report shows that this movement has a very little effect. According to the report, in the last decade, more plastics have been produced than we have in the last century, and half of these plastics are disposable. According to another report issued by the UK government in March, if the measure is not taken, the number of plastics in the ocean will triple in 10 years.[3]

What can we do to reduce the use of plastic?

NGOs, large corporations, communities, nationally or globally focused; try to overcome the plastic pollution with crowded activities. Since June 2017 in Turkey, the ministry of environment and urban planning runs 'zero waste' project. Turkey aims to go ‘zero waste’ in every public institution, educational institutions, shopping malls, hospitals, fun-rest facilities and major businesses by the time of 2023.[4]But all this is still not enough. For a sustainable world, everyone needs to use less and less plastic to make changes in their daily life. The suggestions for everyday use can be listed in the following way:

  • To take bags while shopping,
  • To carry reusable bottles,
  • To refuse plastic cutlery during the food takeaways
  • Prefer products made from recyclable materials
  • To use personal mugs/cups instead of single-use plastic cups

The small steps taken, in the long term will mean big impacts for the future and the world.

Image Source: https://deskgram.org/explore/tags/escualomaniaco

[1]http://www.yesilist.com/amp/plastik-denizleri-ele-geciriyor-norvecte-balinanin-midesinden-30-plastik-torba-cikti/

[2]https://www.ntv.com.tr/galeri/teknoloji/ sea-and-ocean-life-threatening-plastic-grave-olen-balinanin-midesin, 3Ec71EfDukCazD0reQZ9mg

[3]https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43477233

[4]http://sifiratik.csb.gov. com / lead-zero-waste-i-7090

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