June 5th is World Environment Day, the most important day for the United Nations (UN) to raise awareness on environment protection. The theme of this year’s celebration is plastic pollution. The celebration of environment by UN started in 1974 and is celebrated today in more than 100 countries across the globe
What is World Environment Day
World Environment Day takes place every year on 5 June. As UN says:
It is the ‘People’s Day’ for doing something positive for the environment. Its aim is to harness individual actions and transform them into a collective power that has a legacy of real and lasting impact on the planet.
Throughout the globe, individuals show how they care for the environment through numerous actions (planting trees, cleaning parks or beaches…).
Beat Plastic Pollution
That’s the theme of this year’s World Environment Day. As you already read here, you know that after climate change, the next big environmental crisis is plastic pollution.
With this theme UN encourages everyone to consider how we could replace everyday single use or disposable plastic by something that is reusable.
Why did UN choose plastic
2018 World Environment Day will seek to influence change and raise awareness on 4 key areas:
- Reducing single use plastic
- Improving waste management
- Phasing out microplastics
- Promoting research and development for alternatives to oil based products
Here’s a few key figures we found on UN’s website, in addition to what we already shared in our infographic
Global Plastic Pollution by the Numbers:
- Up to 5 trillion plastic bags used each year
- 17 million barrels of oil used on plastic production every year
- 1 million plastic bottles bought every minute
- 100 years for plastic to degrade in the environment
- 50% of consumer plastics are single use
- 10% of all human-generated waste is plastic
Beat it – the viral campaign
People are getting more and more conscious about plastic pollution especially in the ocean. From turning down plastic straws to giving up single use coffee cups, more and more individuals participate in beach clean ups or change their habits in supermarkets.
That’s why, UN imagined, the #beatplasticpollution campaign. The objective of the campaign is to make consumers become actors, but also influencers of the change and make policymakers and manufacturers react. If consumers say no to plastic and single-use products, manufacturers will have to offer alternative solutions. (Some already exist by the way, but we need them to become the standard).
Since a few days, celebrities have taken the challenge and the campaign is becoming viral.
From Alice Eve: Thanks @AidanRGallagher and @UNEnvironment for this challenge! Here’s what I’m thinking @Tampax …Thoughts @adriangrenier? Oh and you too George Eve – TAG, YOU’RE IT! #BeatPlasticPollution pic.twitter.com/aBVmMqIbIM
— UN Environment Programme (@UNEP) May 25, 2018
What did you swap?
UN invites us all to share what single use product we choose to replace by something reusable.
Here’s ours, we’ve replaced it since a few months, and we were talking about it here
If you want to participate, go on social media, share a picture or a video of what you will or have already replaced and use #beatplasticpollution hashtag. Or tell us in the comments!