(ENVIRONMENT/GO GREEN) Today, June 5 is World Environment Day, a day meant to make the Earth a greener, better place. This year’s theme, “beat plastic pollution,” comes at a prudent time for saving our planet.

As eight million tons of plastic are dumped into our world’s oceans each year, poisoning waters and killing marine life, plastic pollution is regarded as one of the biggest environmental threats facing the world today.

In fact, experts claim if present plastic waste and consumption trends continue, our oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050.

Continue reading below to learn more about World Environment Day and this year’s call to action. Click here to see what you can do to help reduce plastic consumption. — Global Animal

Plastic bottles completely cover the water line on the Kalamu River, which runs through the centre of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty

Independent, Josh Gabbatiss

Plastic has been highlighted as one of the biggest environmental threats facing the world by the UN in a call to action issued to mark World Environment Day.

While emphasising the success of many international efforts to tackle plastic waste, the organisation described how the “scourge of plastic” has reached every corner of the Earth.

In a report billed as the most comprehensive yet to examine global government strategies against the “scourge”, UN experts called for concerted action to “beat plastic pollution”.

Levies and bans – of the kind already being rolled out for some plastic products in the UK – were found to be among the most effective strategies for dealing with the problem.

Presenting case studies from more than 60 countries, the UN analysis explored the different strategies being implemented and suggested measures that policymakers can take to curb the problem.

Photo Credit: The Daily Galaxy

Levies and bans – of the kind already being rolled out for some plastic products in the UK – were found to be among the most effective strategies for dealing with the problem.

Presenting case studies from more than 60 countries, the UN analysis explored the different strategies being implemented and suggested measures that policymakers can take to curb the problem.

Levies and bans – of the kind already being rolled out for some plastic products in the UK – were found to be among the most effective strategies for dealing with the problem.

Presenting case studies from more than 60 countries, the UN analysis explored the different strategies being implemented and suggested measures that policymakers can take to curb the problem.

While acknowledging that every country has different problems when it comes to plastic production and waste management, the authors of the report suggested 10 universal steps that policymakers can follow.

These included calls for more eco-friendly alternatives to plastics and the promotion of reusable products.

“The assessment shows that action can be painless and profitable – with huge gains for people and the planet that help avert the costly downstream costs of pollution,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment.

“Plastic isn’t the problem. It’s what we do with it.”

The report was launched in New Delhi to mark World Environment Day, an annual event held by the UN to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote action to tackle them.

Photo Credit: Nels Israelson

To mark the occasion, United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres issued a statement in which he said “we all have a role to play in protecting our only home”.

Mr Guterres cited astonishing statistics, such as the number of microplastics in the ocean now outnumbering stars in the galaxy, and the eight million tons of plastic that end up in the seas and oceans every year.

“Our world is swamped by harmful plastic waste,” he said.

“From remote islands, to the Arctic, nowhere is untouched. If present trends continue, by 2050 our oceans will have more plastic than fish.”

More Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/world-environment-day-un-plastic-pollution-waste-ban-bags-recycling-a8384311.html

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