Ministry of Environment participates in 'Beat Plastic Pollution' Environment Day

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The target of this year's United Nations campaign is to make sure that people around the world are free of the over-consumption and reliance of single-use plastics.

Two years ago, the Indian government notified the "Plastic Waste Management Rules" which recommended the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags be increased from 40 microns to 50 microns.

The U.N. made a series of recommendations to make plastics bans more effective, from encouraging more cooperation from businesses to offering incentives.

"World Environment Day is not just a celebration of the wonder of the natural world it is an opportunity to reflect on our relationship with that world and mobilize global action for causes that unite us", Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment said.

While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over reliant on single-use or disposable plastic, with severe environmental consequences.

A Roadmap for Sustainability, said rules limiting the use of plastic bags have helped in places such as Morocco, Rwanda, and parts of China - sometimes significantly.

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Pope FrancisPope Francis an ardent champion of the environment published an encyclical "Laudato Si" in 2015 in which he takes an integral and holistic approach to the created world, with its ethical, moral, social and political implications on man. According to some estimates, 250 million tonnes of garbage in Pakistan primarily consists of plastic bags, cap bottles and food scraps.

In his latest edition of "Mann Ki Baat' radio programme, PM Modi had urged people to shun the use of plastic and protect the environment".

"We recognise the need to tackle the issue of water availability, which is becoming a major challenge in India".

She said there should be a national awareness to raise the consciousness of the people, right from the schools and among the general populace on the menace of plastics and their impact on society so all would be committed to the fight against environmental pollution. "Together, let us ensure that our future generations live in a clean and green planet, in harmony with nature", he said in a tweet. Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade i.e. breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest them.

Plastic packaging use was predicted to double by 2020 and quadruple by 2050, while globally, the level of recycling was only around 14 per cent, Hunter said.

Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to our planet's ecosystems today.