Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

'Our world is swamped by plastic'

'Our world is swamped by plastic'

This is the message from Minister of Environmental Affairs Dr Edna Molewa as the worldwide community marks World Environment Day (WED).

Disposable plasticDespite the many valuable uses of plastic, people everywhere have become over reliant on single-use or disposable plastic - with severe environmental consequences.

For more than a decade, Rwanda has raised awareness about the benefits of life without plastic bags to maintain a clean and healthy environment. The Department is in consultation with the cosmetics industry in this regard.

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

We must also expedite the mission of finding more natural alternatives to plastics that are environmental-friendly, sustainable, cost-effective and convenient. In just a short span of 60-70 years, plastic has permeated everything from clothing, cooking and catering to retailing, product design and engineering.

Sade Nubi, a Senior Environmental Engineer with the Department of Works and Physical Planning, said that the event involved a walk for the environment and a presentation on beating plastic pollution on campus.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng noted that plastic does not biodegrade, but rather breaks down into smaller pieces forming plastic dusts, and were found in the remotest parts of the world, which floats into the ocean, and enter many marine animals and birds.

In South Africa, plastic litter is jokingly referred to as "the new national flower".

"Certainly through this commitment you've got the major producers in the room, so that's fantastic that they're on board, but as I say, we need to move on from this - it can't be the only thing that we do", he said. In this regard, the Department manages a number of programmes aimed at waste minimization through the 4Rs; recovery, reduce, reuse, and recycling.

"It's clear we can not recycle our way out of this problem". In fact, Gujarat seems disinclined to ban the production or consumption of plastic items.

"Our Constitution undertakes all South Africans the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing".

"Plastic pollution is a huge issue everywhere", U.N. Environment chief Erik Solheim told The Associated Press in an interview.

The theme for this year's World Environment Day is "Beat Plastic Pollution".

He said India was his choice to host this year's "World Environment Day" due to a variety of reasons, including its vast population and fast economic growth.

The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment.

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