5 June: World Environment Day
The World Environment Day was observed across the world on June 5, 2018 with an aim to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the protection of environment.
The Day was first celebrated in 1974 and since then, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach.
Theme: Beat Plastic Pollution
The theme of the World Environment Day 2018 was ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.
The theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ is a call to action to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on natural places and wildlife. 'Beat Plastic Pollution' urges governments, industry, communities, and individuals to reduce the production and excessive use of single-use plastic polluting the oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health.
Plastic is a huge environmental and health issue and the day was observed with the main focus on creating mass awareness about the hazards of plastic pollution.
India, the host country
Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. The focus on the host country helps highlight the environmental challenges it faces and the effort it supports to address them. This year it was India.
PM Narendra Modi’s tweet on World Environment Day
For World Environment Day, India announced to clean up 100 of its historic monuments, including the famous Taj Mahal. Union Environment Minister Harshvardhan unveiled the first non-plastic bound copy of the National Geographic magazine.
Various events were held across India to observe the Day including cleanliness campaigns by state governments, cleaning of 24 beaches and 24 rivers in 19 states, social media campaigns and mini-marathons like ‘Envithon’ in five cities besides Delhi.
Dia Mirza, the UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador, suggested few initiatives on this World Environment Day:
• Indian Railways introduced complete biodegradable containers #BeatPlasticPollution for serving of breakfast and meals in several Shatabdi and Rajdhani Trains.
• 12000 students & Officials from CRPF and ITBP took part in ‘Envithon’ to Beat Plastic Pollution.
• A team of CISF personnel carried out cleanliness drive in Odisha.
• STEM (Save The Earth Movement), promoted the use of cloth bags over plastic bags.
• Gujarat launched the ‘Plastic-waste free Gujarat’ drive.
• Celebs like Alia Bhatt, Juhi Chawla, Arjun Kapoor made it to the internet to create awareness about plastic pollution and called to replace plastic items like plastic bottles with steel or glass bottles.
• Indian city of Hyderabad announced to go single-use plastic free by 2022.
Few Facts on Plastic Pollution
• Every year, world uses 500 billion plastic bags and at least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, the equivalent of a full garbage truck every minute.
• 50 percent of the plastic we use is single-use or disposable plastic.
• Over 1 million plastic bottles are purchased in every one minute.
• Plastic makes up 10 per cent of all of the waste generated in the world.
World Environment Day (WED)
• World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on June 5.
• The day is celebrated to bring environmental concerns into the mainstream of the national developmental effort and also to bring people to the front of environmental conservation.
• The day, which began in 1974, is a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution to global warming, to wildlife crime and sustainable consumption.
• Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. In 2018, it is India
• For the year 2017, Canada was the Global Host country for the celebrations of World Environment Day.