India is the global host of 2018 World Environment Day which will take place on June 5, 2018. With “Beat Plastic Pollution” as the theme for this year’s edition, the world is coming together to combat single-use plastic pollution. In the time it takes Hardik Pandya to bowl an over in a cricket match, four garbage trucks worth of plastic get dumped into the ocean.
New Delhi, 19 February 2018 – Today, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Erik Solheim, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Head of UN Environment, jointly announced that India will be hosting the global World Environment Day celebrations on 5 June 2018.
“Beat Plastic Pollution”, the theme for World Environment 2018, urges governments, industry, communities and individuals to come together and explore sustainable alternatives and urgently reduce the production and excessive use of single-use plastic polluting our oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health. “India is excited to host the World Environment Day this year on June 5. Indian philosophy and lifestyle has long been rooted in the concept of co-existence with nature. We are committed towards making Planet Earth a cleaner and greener place”, said Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
He added: “If each and every one of us does at least one green good deed daily towards our Green Social Responsibility, there will be billions of green good deeds daily on the planet.” The Government of India has committed to organizing and promoting the World Environment Day celebrations through a series of engaging activities and events generating strong public interest and participation. From pan-Indian plastic clean-up drives in public areas, national reserves and forests to simultaneous beach clean-up activities – India will lead the initiative by setting an example.
“India will be a great global host of 2018’s World Environment Day celebrations,” said Erik Solheim at the announcement on Monday. He added: “The country has demonstrated tremendous global leadership on climate change and the need to shift to a low carbon economy, and India will now help galvanize greater action on plastics pollution. It’s a global emergency affecting every aspect of our lives. It’s in the water we drink and the food we eat. It’s destroying our beaches and oceans. India will now be leading the push to save our oceans and planet.”
India is emerging as a leader, given it has one of the highest recycling rates in the world. It can be instrumental in combating plastic pollution. By hosting World Environment Day 2018, the Indian government is accelerating its leadership on an issue of tremendous magnitude. World Environment Day is a UN Environment-led global event, the single largest celebration of our environment each year, which takes place on June 5 and is celebrated by thousands of communities worldwide. Since it began in 1972, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated across the globe. Most of all, World Environment is a day of everyone around the world to take ownership of their environment, and to actively engage in the protection of our earth.
Every year the world uses 500 billion plastic bags each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, the equivalent of a full garbage truck every minute. In the last decade, we produced more plastic than in the whole last century 50 per cent of the plastic we use is single-use or disposable We buy 1 million plastic bottles every minute Plastic makes up 10% of all of the waste we generate.