World Environment Day: Côte D’Ivoire hosts celebrations on plastic pollution solutions

World Environment Day is celebrated annually on June 5 to raise awareness and encourage efforts to protect the environment. This year’s theme focuses on finding solutions to plastic pollution, with celebrations being hosted by Côte D’Ivoire in West Africa. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day.

History and Significance

Established by the United Nations in 1972 during the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, World Environment Day is the largest global platform for environmental public outreach. Celebrations have been hosted by numerous cities worldwide, including New Delhi, which spearheaded the 2011 and 2018 events.

UN’s Call for Action

As World Environment Day approaches, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has called for greater efforts to limit waste and push for a transition to a circular economy. The international body has also released a ‚Beat Plastic Pollution Practical Guide‘ and urged people to share it widely on social media using the campaign hashtag ‚BeatPlasticPollution‘.

Plastic Pollution Facts

According to the UN observances page, more than 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually, half of which is designed for single use. Less than 10% is recycled, while an estimated 19-23 million tonnes end up in lakes, rivers, and seas every year. Microplastics, which are tiny plastic particles up to 5mm in diameter, find their way into food, water, and air. It is estimated that each person on the planet consumes more than 50,000 plastic particles per year, and many more if inhalation is considered.

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