The claim that the world is drowning in plastic is neither new nor surprising. Every year we produce more than 400 million tons of plastic, half of which is for single use. Of the total material produced, less than 10% is recycled. It is estimated that 19 – 23 million tons, instead of going back for recycling, end up in lakes, seas and rivers, polluting the world. World Environment Day, is the perfect time to take a look at this serious problem the planet is currently facing – the overconsumption of plastic and its negative effects on the environment.

World Environment Day as a remedy for the crisis

Celebrated annually on June 5, World Environment Day is fast approaching to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. Established in 1972 by the UN General Assembly and celebrated in more than 100 countries, this time World Environment Day is being organized by Côte d’Ivoire with the partnership of the Netherlands. The theme of this year’s celebration is the issue of environmental pollution by plastics and an attempt to answer the question of how to combat this phenomenon.

Nowadays, plastic is used ubiquitously, hence the organization of the event in Ivory Coast is an eloquent highlighting of the incidence of this issue on the African continent as well. Plastics are one of the biggest environmental threats, causing a global plastics crisis. Plastic, poisoning water areas, can get into the food we eat or the water we drink, and when burned, in the form of poisonous smoke, gets into our lungs.

The global holiday, World Environment Day, is designed to draw attention to the fact that human actions matter a great deal – because what matters is what all people do on a daily basis. The organizers announce that the upcoming event will present examples of how people from different countries and institutions are making attempts to use plastic in a more sustainable way. Dissemination of such activities can help spread knowledge, ideas and trends related to the issue of the planet’s plastic pollution problem.

Beat Plastic Pollution, or ways to solve a global problem

Increased awareness of plastic pollution now requires heightened social and political pressure. All this to urge the government, companies and other stakeholders to act to resolve the crisis. This shows the importance of World Environment Day, which mobilizes action from almost every corner of the world.

The World Environment Day 2023 campaign uses the slogan and hashtag #BeatPlasticPollution to make it easier to spread and get the word online. The organizer of the event has also created a help guide, for those wishing to combat the plastic problem individually, as well as for government authorities, local governments and the private sector. The authors of the guide advise that you start your contribution to the plastic crisis by becoming active on social media or in your local community on a daily basis. On the other hand, on a national scale, they suggest solutions such as:

– Imposing or increasing taxes that will discourage the production of environmentally harmful plastics,

– Holding textile manufacturers and retailers accountable for the waste they produce,

– Investment in appropriate infrastructure for recycling and waste management,

– International cooperation within the framework of the Global Commitment for the New Plastics Economy.

In the guide we can also find information aimed at industrial entrepreneurs and the financial sector. The authors advise that:

– eliminate impractical uses of harmful plastics,

– Implement new solutions as early as the design and production of eco-friendly packaging,

– use new technologies that reduce the cost of energy required for production and enable recycling of the resulting waste.

World Environment Day 2023 – planned events in Poland:

World Environment Day in Poland is organized by UNEP/GRID-Warsaw, a center affiliated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) [ONZ]. Environment). Since 1991, the center has been carrying out UNEP’s mission in Poland, supporting and inspiring partners on the road to sustainable development. The site notifies that information on some events related to the holiday will not hit the media until June 5.

A number of events will be held in Poland as part of the #ForPlanet social campaign, including:

  • A conference at the Zamoyski Palace in Warsaw, the headquarters of SARP, on the occasion of the 50th World Environment Day dedicated to the theme of Sollutions to Plastic Pollution
  • June 3 (Saturday) joint garbage cleaning in Warsaw on the beach “Poniatówka” under the Poniatowski bridge
  • environmental cleanup campaign organized nationwide in cooperation with Planet Heroes
  • Installation in the exhibition space on the boulevards along the Vistula River in Warsaw presenting the result of waste collection (part of a marketing campaign)
  • ScreeNetwork led media campaign in several hundred locations in Poland
  • Social media campaign – “Thank you for doing better” challenge.

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