India to Celebrate ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’

Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 15:11

June 5 is marked by the United Nations as World Environment Day, with the theme, “Beat Plastic Pollution,” to promote “worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.”

In a message, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urged all people to reject single-use plastic items, and warned that growing levels of plastic waste were becoming unmanageable, saying “every year, more than eight million tons end up in the oceans.”

Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place and this year it is India.

Humans are both creatures and moulders of their environment, which gives them physical sustenance and affords them the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth.

In the long and tortuous evolution of the human race on this planet a stage has been reached when, through the rapid acceleration of science and technology, humans have acquired the power to transform their environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale.

The United Nations, aware that the protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue, which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world, designated 5 June as World Environment Day.

Gathered here, a look at some of this plastic waste from the past year, accumulating in waterways, forests, and beaches across the globe, and some of the efforts to clean and recycle the mountains of material.

A wild elephant rummages through garbage dumped in the village of Digampathana in north-central Sri Lanka, on May 11, 2018. At this dump, a herd of wild elephants forages among the rubbish, swallowing dangerous scraps of plastic mixed with rotting food in what experts warn is an increasing problem for the revered animals.

Lakruwan Wanniarachchi / AFP / Getty

Plastic waste lies scattered through a forest near an uncontrolled garbage dump near Khabarovsk, Russia, on May, 27, 2018.

Artem Zarubin / Shutterstock

Plastic rubbish lies strewn across the polluted banks of the river Yamuna near the historic Taj Mahal in Agra, India, on May 19, 2018.

Saumya Khandelwal / Reuters

Plastic bottles and garbage line Kuta Beach in Bali on February 12, 2017.

Maxim Blinkov / Shutterstock

A black-footed albatross chick with plastics in its stomach lies dead on Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on November 2, 2014. The remote atoll is a delicate sanctuary for millions of seabirds. Midway sits amid a collection of human-made debris called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Along the paths of Midway, there are piles of feathers with rings of plastic in the middle—remnants of birds that died with the plastic in their guts. Each year the agency removes about 20 tons of plastic and debris that wash ashore from surrounding waters.

Dan Clark / USFWS via AP

Mounds of plastic waste piled up at a dumpsite in Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 31, 2018. Indonesia has been ranked the second biggest marine polluter in the world behind China, with reports showing that the country produces 187.2 million tons of plastic waste each year. Like many developing countries, Indonesia lacks the infrastructure to effectively manage their waste and the problem has become so severe that the nation's army has been called in to help clean up when its rivers and canals were clogged with dense masses of bottles, bags, and other plastic packaging.

Ed Wray / Getty

Garbage chokes a polluted canal in Mumbai, India, on June 4, 2018.

Rafiq Maqbool / AP

Vietnamese women ride past an enormous pile of recyclable plastic bottles at Xa Cau village, outside Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 5, 2018.

Nguyen Huy Kham / Reuters

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