Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

50th anniversary of World Environment Day


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: World Environment Day

Mains level: Read the attached story

world environment day plastic

Central Idea

  • Plastics have become an integral part of human life, despite their adverse environmental impact.
  • World Environment Day (5th June) serves as a reminder of our responsibility to address plastic pollution.

Why in news?

  • 50th Anniversary of World Environment Day: The day, led by UNEP since 1973, marks its 50th anniversary this year.
  • Global Platform for Environmental Outreach: World Environment Day has grown into the largest global platform for environmental outreach.
  • Theme- #BeatPlasticPollution: This year’s World Environment Day focuses on the urgent need to combat plastic pollution.

World Environment Day 2023

Date June 5th
Theme (2023) Ecosystem Restoration
Host Country (2023) Pakistan
Established World Environment Day was established in 1972 by the United Nations at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment
Purpose To raise awareness and promote action for environmental protection
Importance Platform for global environmental campaigns and initiatives
Activities Various activities are organized worldwide, such as tree planting, clean-up drives, and educational programs
Previous Themes Previous themes have focused on topics like biodiversity, air pollution, plastic pollution, and more
Organized by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Plastic pollution and the need for Solutions

  • Plastic pollution is a pressing global issue that requires immediate attention.
  • Over 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually, with less than 10% being recycled.
  • Plastic pollution negatively affects ecosystems and poses risks to human health.

Understanding Plastic Pollution

platic environment day

  • Versatile Nature of Plastics: Plastics are synthetic materials capable of being shaped and molded according to requirements.
  • Types of Plastics: Commodity plastics, such as PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, and PS, dominate global production.
  • Identification Codes and Different Properties: Plastics can be identified by their resin identification codes (RIC) and possess distinct properties.

Environmental impact of plastics

  • Plastics have revolutionized various industries but raise significant environmental concerns.
  • Plastics have a slow decomposition rate, leading to the persistence of plastic waste.
  • Microplastics, including primary and secondary types, accumulate in various environments.

Health risks and toxic chemicals

  • Microplastics contain toxic chemicals that pose risks to human health.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) in microplastics can have detrimental effects on human health.

Worst examples of Plastic Pollution

  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a vast collection of plastic and microplastic waste.
  • It was formed due to converging ocean currents and is situated in the North Pacific Ocean.
  • It covers a surface area of 1.6 million sq km, with smaller patches in other oceans.

Actions against Plastic Pollution

  • Urgency for Collective Action: Plastic pollution necessitates collective efforts and immediate action.
  • World Environment Day’s Reminder of Responsibility: World Environment Day serves as a reminder of our responsibility to address plastic pollution.

Way forward

  • Plastic Recycling: Advanced recycling technologies offer new ways to efficiently recycle plastic waste.
  • Promoting Circular Economy Models: Embracing circular economy principles can reduce plastic waste and promote sustainable resource usage.
  • Education and Awareness Campaigns: Spreading awareness and educating the public about the impact of plastic pollution can drive behavioral change.
  • Collaboration between Industries and Governments: Cooperation between industries and governments is essential to develop comprehensive strategies for tackling plastic pollution.

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