India's Modi calls for crackdown on plastic pollution

A sweeping look over Taimur Nagar underlines the challenges the country faces with its waste

Today, World Environment Day, 12 local and worldwide businesses signed a declaration to tackle plastic pollution by committing to using 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in their New Zealand operations by 2025 or earlier, as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy initiative. Let's do our bit to protect this attractive planet and make it a better place to live in for all that walk upon it.

Since it was first celebrated in 1974, the Day has helped raise awareness and generate political momentum around global environmental concerns such as ozone depletion, desertification and global warming.

Bigger responsibility rests with the public at large to say "no" to plastic bags and in fact the civic authorities such as Capital Development Authority in the federal capital can launch "No to Plastic Bags" campaign by involving the public in order to free our environment from this hazard.

The Association for Environmental Impact Assessment of Nigeria (AEIAN), an umbrella body of Impact Assessment Practitioners in Nigeria, has called on the Federal Government to develop, implement and enforce strong laws and policies that will curb the production and use of unnecessary single use plastics.

Elisa Tonda, who leads UN Environment's Sustainable Lifestyle programme, said more than 60 countries had bans or charges on single-use plastics such as bags or polystyrene containers.

Today, plastic poses one of the greatest threats to our natural environment all the more so because it is both cheap and easily available.

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World Environment Day is the United Nations principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and positive action for the protection of the environment.

Shah said volunteers have cleared nearly 15 million kilograms of plastic from the beach near his home in the past three weeks.

In India, plastic has been found inside dead cows while a whale in Thailand died after consuming waste bags. "Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live", Modi said.

Around the world, 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, according to the United Nations.

U.N. Environment also released a report Tuesday detailing global efforts to combat plastic pollution, including bans on styrofoam and non-biodegradable plastic bags. The simplest plastic normally used in grocery store bags takes at least 100 years to break down while the complex ones take up to 600 years or beyond to decompose.

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