World Environment Day 2023: A World Without Plastics

By June 5, 2023 3   min read  (556 words)

June 5, 2023 |

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Every year, on June 5th, we celebrate World Environment Day to raise awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving our planet. The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of this commemoration, with Ivory Coast as the host country, in collaboration with the Netherlands, and the focus is centered around a crucial theme: Eliminating the use of plastics.

Over the past five decades, this day has become one of the largest global platforms for environmental outreach. Tens of millions of people participate alongside governments, businesses, cities, and community organizations.

The issue of plastic pollution has reached alarming proportions worldwide. Over 400 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year, half of which are designed for single-use purposes, less than 10% is recycled. It is estimated that between 19 and 23 million tons of plastic waste end up in lakes, rivers and oceans every year, severely affecting marine life and aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, microplastics (plastic particles with a diameter smaller than 5 mm) invade food, water, and even the air, harming human health and biodiversity, contaminating all kinds of ecosystems from mountaintops to the ocean floor.

Single-use plastics, such as bags, bottles, and packaging, generate large amounts of waste that accumulates in landfills and takes centuries to decompose.

In the face of this crisis, it is imperative that we take concrete measures to reduce and eliminate the use of plastics in our daily lives. To achieve this, it is necessary to address the problem from different angles: production, consumption, and waste management.

Firstly, we must promote responsible plastic production. It is essential to encourage research and development of sustainable alternatives, such as bioplastics and compostable materials. Companies and manufacturers play a crucial role in this process by adopting more environmentally friendly production policies and promoting innovation in packaging.

Secondly, as consumers, we can make a difference by opting for plastic-free alternatives. Rejecting plastic bags at stores, carrying our own reusable bottle, and avoiding products with unnecessary packaging are small actions that have a big impact. We must promote a conscious and sustainable lifestyle, prioritizing the quality and durability of products over immediate convenience.

Proper waste management also plays a fundamental role in the fight against plastic pollution. Governments and local authorities must implement effective recycling policies and promote environmental education to foster greater awareness of the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Additionally, it is essential to promote the creation of efficient recycling infrastructure and improve waste collection systems.

However, the ultimate solution lies not only in reduction and recycling but in reevaluating our relationship with plastics. We must question the real need for many plastic products and promote a circular economy where materials are responsibly used, reused, and recycled in closed loops.

World Environment Day offers the opportunity to raise our voice and replicate the call to governments, cities, and businesses to invest in and implement solutions that put an end to plastic pollution, It invites us to reflect on our habits and promote positive change for the benefit of our planet and future generations. This year’s theme, “Beat Plastic Pollution”, urges us to act collectively and take concrete measures to curb plastic pollution and build a more sustainable future.

We must not underestimate the power we have as individuals.


By: Catherine Lafaurie/Fuel cells Works

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