'Our world is swamped by plastic'

Garbage seen on the polluted banks of the Yamuna near the Mahal Agra Uttar Pradesh

Garbage seen on the polluted banks of the Yamuna near the Mahal Agra Uttar Pradesh

Union environment minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said he would give up single-use plastic as a first step towards ridding India of it by 2022.

Environment Minister Dr Vincent Biruta has called on the general public to join efforts to beat plastic pollution in their communities to protect the environment, which is increasingly being endangered by plastic items.

Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, stated on India's pledge: "This has been the biggest, most resonant World Environment Day ever, thanks to the leadership of our global host India".

The forum was jointly organised by the Australian High Commission, Ghana Wildlife Society and the USAID funded West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change, and assembled stakeholders in the environment to discuss and find practical ways too, "Beat Plastic Pollution".

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"Pollution is not just man-made but also made in the mind, and if you become aware of the problem, only then you can start reducing it", said Sri Sri.

Chairing the plenary session of an event to celebrate the World Environment Day 2018, being hosted by India, he said India's traditions have for long underlined the importance of living in harmony with nature. And one out of five plastic bottles is recycled.

"We have come so far with our recycling capabilities, so when it's not possible to reduce or reuse plastic we ask everyone to put their used plastic bottles and food packing into the relevant recycling bin where they can". I urge everyone to ban single-use plastic bags.

And nearly three-quarters (72%) think supermarkets are not doing enough about packaging to tackle the problem of plastic pollution, the survey by Populus for Greenpeace showed.

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"These are only the most recent instances of the Indian Government's efforts to focus on the plastic menace in a serious manner".

The World Environment Day was first introduced by the United Nations in 1974 and since then it has developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on urgent issues from marine pollution and global warming to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.

Also speaking, Prof Emmanuel Nzegbulam, the Dean of College of Natural Resources and Environmental Management of the university said that the dangers of continued use of plastics ought not to be over-looked.

"There are more sustainable and environmentally friendly options for packaging, storage and transportation of various materials in our system", he said.

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Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today appealed the citizens of Nagaland to commit for a Plastic Free Nagaland by banning the use of plastic in the State within 6 months.

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