'Our world is swamped by plastic'

Rosemary Collier
June 10, 2018

India pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by the year 2022 on Tuesday.

Some 86% support supermarkets moving towards more refillable and reusable packaging instead of single-use plastics and more than nine out of 10 (91%) think they should be working towards reducing their overall packaging.

However, the report also cites a fundamental need for broader cooperation from business and private sector stakeholders, offering a roadmap for upstream solutions, including extended producer responsibility and incentives for adoption of a more circular economy approach to plastic production and consumption.

India is playing the global host for the official celebration of the World Environment Day. Plastic in oceans is likely to outweigh fishes by 2050.

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Ogundipe said: "Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental concerns facing us today and this has constituted a global problem".

"That is why we now want the campaign to go beyond fighting plastic bags to any single-use plastic item". The report examines the plastic pollution state in 2018, analyses the action implemented against plastic pollution and proposes ten-steps for the policymakers to follow.

"It is to instil awareness on the importance of preserving the environment and support actions to do so that the Ministry of Development through the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation has launched the green initiative on the World Environment Day", he added.

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday unveiled the first non-plastic bound copy of the National Geographic magazine here marking the World Environment Day.

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According to Erik Solheim, the main issue of plastic pollution is how we use plastic. This pollution has a severe effect on marine life; it is unfortunate that due to our irresponsible attitude, we are polluting the very food source which we and our future generations depend on, he said. "Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live". Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade i.e. breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest them.

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation said the country would not rush to ban plastic materials now but would wait to develop the Policy that would give proper direction on how to educate the populace and putting measures in turning plastic waste to resources and value addition.

Plastic pollution is affecting even remote areas of the planet, including the Artic.

A study published in December 2014 by USA and United Kingdom researchers suggested there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic weighing almost 269,000 tonnes now swirling in the world's oceans.

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