plastic pollution

World Environment Day: Ambitious Efforts Needed to Beat Plastic Pollution

The 2023 World Environment Day theme is Beat Plastic Pollution and it calls for global solutions to combat plastic pollution. Since its commercial development in the 1950s, the global production of plastic has been growing exponentially. Its success comes from its remarkable qualities which are, ease of shaping, low cost, and mechanical resistance among others. Approximately 36% of all plastics produced is used in packaging, including single-use plastic products for food and beverage containers. In a report published by WWF, plastic has been identified as the most damaging product polluting the environment with about 85% of all plastic produced ending up in landfills or as unregulated waste.

How do plastics end up in our environment in the first place? For instance, it is estimated that 80% of marine litter comes from land and mainly from household waste, which is poorly recycled, dumped in landfills, or abandoned in nature. Every year, 51 million tonnes of plastics leak into nature, and up to 13 million tonnes spill into the ocean. Hundreds of thousands of marine animals are killed by plastic each year, and microplastics are contaminating our soil, water, and food. Plastic pollution continues to threaten our planet’s biodiversity. The earth is home to millions of species of plants and animals which must be protected but plastic is harming these vital ecosystems.

To address plastic pollution, the global community is proposing measures to control eliminate, reduce, or safely manage, and circulate plastics. Addressing the plastic pollution could involve the following measures;

Address the root causes: An increase in the production of single-use of plastic has been the main cause of plastic pollution globally. Reducing, reusing, and recycling the amount of plastic that is being consumed, especially single-use plastics, could bring us one step closer to a plastic-free society.

Seek alternatives like glass which are recyclable, doesn’t leech toxins into contents, uses less energy to recycle than create, and is long-lasting, strong, and durable.

System shift. Research shows that a shift to a circular economy can reduce the volume of plastics entering the ocean by over 80 percent and it can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent. Combining the reduction of problematic and unnecessary plastic usage with a market shift towards plastic circularity could help to tackle the plastic crisis.

Involvement of government, business, and civil society: Governments can introduce laws that ban single-use plastics and implement better waste management systems to help with recycling. Businesses can strive to move towards a circular economy as well as stimulate a reduction in plastic consumption and respond to consumer demand for responsible products and also addressing their environmental footprint. Civil society can raise awareness and take action on plastic pollution.

As we celebrate World Environmental Day this year, lets unite to tackle plastic pollution. An ambitious Global Plastics Treaty can help countries around the globe to transform the way they produce, consume, and dispose of plastics. Together, we can build a more sustainable future and safeguard biodiversity on which all life depends. Together, we can beat plastics pollution.

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International Biodiversity Day 2023: Message by ABCG Director Rubina James

International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated annually in May to increase understanding and appreciation of the criticality of biodiversity. This year, the theme “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity” echoes the need to urgently act. As we mark this important day, we must conserve biodiversity and choose sustainable options in all spheres of life and sectors. On World Biodiversity Day and everyday, let’s apply our collective effort to implement this important Framework of the decade and build back better.


Make a Positive Impact on our Planet by Joining Earth Hour 2023

Earth Hour 2023 will be held on March 25, 2023. Since 2007, Earth Hour has focused attention on climate change and environmental degradation. Earth Hour has reached over 190 countries and territories and millions of people around the globe. Earth Hour has been known for “lights out,” a symbolic event and visual representation of collective support for climate change action. Earth hour continues to advocate for action on climate change, as well as other environmental issues, 17 years later. Earth Hour is an important opportunity for Africa to emphasize the importance of nature to livelihoods, as well as food and energy security on the continent, which is threatened by climate change.

The ability of Earth Hour to inspire and support individuals to act and advocate for change has always been central to its success. Earth Hour demonstrates that collective efforts by governments, businesses, and individuals can make a difference in combating habitat loss, global biodiversity loss, and climate change if people come together to take action. Earth Hour urges immediate action now more than ever.

Dedicate 60 minutes to celebrate our planet!

People are needed now more than ever to make Earth Hour 2023 a year of change in order to meet the 2030 nature positive goal. Individuals, businesses, communities, towns and cities, and entire nations must all participate in Earth Hour to make a difference and create the World’s Greatest Earth Hour. Let us dedicate 60 minutes to global support and celebration of our planet that day.

As landmarks and homes across the planet switch off, everyone should take a break from their routine and everyday distractions and spend 60 minutes doing something positive for our planet.

Together, let’s create the Biggest Hour for Earth. 

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