World Environment Day – 4 June 2018

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By Jon Moake, Librarian

June the 5th is World Environment Day 2018. This is a UN sponsored day for thought and action about environment issues. The theme for this year is “Beat Plastic Pollution”

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) would like us to limit our use of single use plastics. By following their slogan “…if you can’t reuse it, then refuse it” we can all play a small part in making our world a cleaner more healthy place.

Single use plastic makes up a major part of worldwide waste at this time. It is particularly damaging in an aquatic setting where it can harm wildlife and leech harmful chemicals like oils and dioxins into the environment. Some of these plastics take up to 1000 years to degrade, causing massive harm to the environment in the interim.

Plastic Pollution facts:

  • Every year the world uses 500 billion plastic bags
  • Each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, the equivalent of a full garbage truck every minute.
  • In the last decade, we produced more plastic than in the whole last century
  • 50 percent of the plastic we use is single-use or disposable
  • We buy 1 million plastic bottles every minute
  • Plastic makes up 10% of all of the waste we generate

 Make a concerted effort to limit single use plastic by refusing to utilise this type of packaging. A good place to start is plastic supermarket bags, of which 500 billion are used worldwide every year. Why not use a more environmentally sound alternative.

If you would like information about World Environment Day 2018 and how you can participate please check the following links:

UN World Environment Day website: http://www.un.org/en/events/environmentday/

UN Environment Day host nation: India: http://worldenvironmentday.global/en/about/india-land-unity-diversity

Ministry of the Environment: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/more/community-and-public/world-environment-day

 

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