World Environment Day 2023 – Theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’
World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June and encourages Environmental issues awareness raising and action for the protection of the environment. It is supported by the United Nations and governments around the world. Participants of WED include non-governmental organisations (NGOs), governments, businesses, employers, trade unions, communities, individuals, various organisations, campaigners and celebrities, and together they raise awareness of environmental issues. This represents the primary United Nations outreach day supporting the environment.
The theme for World Environment Day on 5 June 2023 will focus on solutions to plastic pollution under the campaign ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. The 2023 World Environment Day campaign calls for global solutions to combat plastic pollution. Every year there is a new main focus for WED. This year the focus is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, and the press and media are already gearing up for this by reporting on events and efforts to reduce plastic pollution.
Why is this year’s theme important?‘Plastic Pollution’ is regularly in the news due to its terrible consequences on the environment and human and animal health, laid bare by documentaries such as ‘Blue Planet’. Heavy use of plastic increases the pollution in the environment.
The world is being inundated by plastic. More than 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year, half of which is designed to be used only once. Of that, less than 10 per cent is recycled. An estimated 20 million tonnes ends up in lakes, rivers and seas. Today, plastic clogs our landfills, leaches into the ocean and is combusted into toxic smoke, making it one of the gravest threats to the planet. Not only that, what is less known is that microplastics find their way into the food we eat, the water we drink and even the air we breathe. Many plastic products contain hazardous additives, which may pose a threat to our health.
The good news is that the world has the science and solutions to tackle the problem –and a lot is already happening. What is needed most now is a surge of public and political pressure to scale up and speed actions from governments, companies and other stakeholders to solve this crisis. This underscores the importance of this World Environment Day – raising awareness of the plastic pollution threat and mobilising action from every corner of the world.
The scourge of plastic pollution is a visible threat that impacts every community. World Environment Day 2023 aims to highlight the issue and to challenge countries, companies and businesses to use the material more sustainably and not add to plastic pollution. It will also showcase how some countries, businesses and individuals are learning to use the material more sustainably – offering hope that one day, plastic pollution will be history.
Plastic pollution and its detrimental impacts on health, the economy and the environment cannot be ignored. Urgent action is required. At the same time, we need true, effective and robust solutions. The full commitment of nations and companies is needed to reduce the production and consumption of single-use plastic, which can and must be replaced with durable and sustainable alternatives.
World Environment Day is an environmental awareness day, run by the United Nations. It is sometimes also unofficially called Eco Day or Environment Day. The aim of the Day is to raise awareness of the environment and specific environmental issues.
World Environment Day (WED) was established in 1972 but first held in 1974, which shows that concern about the environment goes back several decades at least. 143 countries support and take part in World Environment Day, and the day focuses on environmental concerns ranging from pollution to global warming and sustainable food production to protection of wildlife.
The world is facing a plastic crisis, the status quo is not an option. Plastic pollution is a serious issue of global concern. Due to the uncontrolled use of plastic, its disposal has become a huge problem in major cities and towns alike.
World Environment Day can be supported and celebrated in many ways, activities such as clear up campaigns are popular and will be prominent this year, also concerts, conventions and parades, tree planting, and lectures. Promotional materials for the day tend to be created using natural environmental colours.
Disadvantages of plastic are:
- Plastic takes tons of years to decompose. …
- Producing plastic is cheap, however, it is done using a variety of toxic chemicals and colours.
- The recycling process for plastic can be very expensive.
- Heavy use of plastic increases the pollution in the environment.
Society for The Environment (SocEnv) – UK Professional Body Free Webinar:
The Society for The Environment have organised a ‘Free Webinar’ on World Environment Day 5 June, 1pm to share what is being done in practice to prevent and address plastic pollution. Two Chartered Environmentalists working in resource management and registered as CEnvs via the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), will be providing their insights on this World Environment Day webinar:-
- Helene Roberts CEnv FIMMM – CEO at Robinson PLC
- Iain Ferguson CEnv FIMMM – Environmental consultant
Find out more and book your free place here:- https://socenv.org.uk/world-environment-day-2023/
The SocEnv Website also covers articles and information on the true value of this year’s WED theme and how you can get involved.
UN – In Focus: World Environment Day, 5 June – Get Involved – Get Solutions – Access Practical Guides:
- Solutions to plastic pollution – Tips on how to be part of the global movement to limit waste and push for a transition to a circular economy
- Cities & Towns, Business & Finance,
- People & Communities.
- Event and Activities – Browse the Map and Get Ideas
- Numerous actions are being taken by governments, cities, finance, businesses, NGOs, academia, civil society and individuals.
- Browse the map to find out more about actions being taken near you.
- World Environment Day on 5 June 2023 will focus on solutions to plastic pollution under the campaign
- Inspire Change Through Social Media – Spread the word to friends, family and colleagues – Get Involved, Go Social!
- Acknowledge and promote those who are creating real solutions to plastic pollution.
- Call out and challenge politicians, municipalities, companies, and civil society groups to join the movement to overcome plastic pollution.
How can the world beat plastic pollution? UNEP Video:
A systems change is needed to address the cause of plastic pollution. It combines reducing the most problematic and unnecessary plastic uses with three market shifts – Reuse, Recycle, and Reorient and Diversify – and actions to deal with the plastic pollution legacy.
Watch the video here:- https://www.unep.org/resources/turning-off-tap-end-plastic-pollution-create-circular-economy
UN Environment Programme (UNEP) – Quiz: How much do you know about plastic pollution?
Take the UNEP Quiz to test your knowledge on plastic pollution. The theme of this year’s World Environment Day, held on 5 June, is solutions to plastic pollution and finding ways to ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. Take the Test and Test your knowledge here:- https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/quiz-how-much-do-you-know-about-plastic-pollution-crisis
UNEP ‘Beat The Plastic Pollution Guide’:
This guide provides some helpful tips on how we can all be part of the global movement to solve the plastic pollution crisis – governments, cities, towns, companies can act and commit and set new norms and standards. Governments can catalyze change on a global, regional and local scale. While solutions must engage every sector, governments and local authorities need to drive change, introduce laws to reduce the production of harmful and unnecessary plastics, incentivise sustainable business practices and invest in better waste management infrastructure. Design out waste by eliminating and substituting unnecessary and hazardous plastic production and packaging, containers, etc., especially single-use plastic. Investors can play a key role in mobilizing finance and setting standards for businesses and industries to move away from harmful plastic production toward circular economies on plastics. Individual and community actions underpin the systemic change required to transition to a less plastic-dependent economy. NGOs, faith organizations and community groups are a powerful source of change in the world. We can all use our voice and choices to drive change. Read the Report Attached.
UNEP Report Publication – ‘Turning off the Tap: How the world can end plastic pollution and create a circular economy’:
This report examines the economic and business models needed to address the impacts of the plastics economy. The report proposes a systems change to address the causes of plastic pollution, combining reducing problematic and unnecessary plastic use with a market transformation towards circularity in plastics. This can be achieved by accelerating three key shifts – reuse, recycle, and reorient and diversify – and actions to deal with the legacy of plastic pollution. Reuse refers to the transformation of the ‘throwaway economy’ to a ‘reuse society’ where reusing plastic products makes more economic sense than throwing them away. The report highlights the importance of accelerating the recycling market for plastic recycling by ensuring that recycling becomes a more profitable venture. Reorient and diversify refers to shifting the market towards sustainable plastic alternatives, which will require a shift in consumer demand, regulatory frameworks and costs. The report highlights that these solutions are available now and that a systems change, underpinned by the necessary regulatory instruments, will result in a range of economic benefits and reduce damage to human health, the environment and the climate. Read the Report Attached.
Links and Good Websites:
World Environment Day Global: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/
UN Environment Programme: https://www.unep.org/
Society for the Environment: https://socenv.org.uk/theme-announced-world-environment-day-2023/
- UN Press Release
- UNEP ‘Beat The Plastic Pollution Guide’
- UNEP Report Publication – ‘Turning off the Tap: How the world can end plastic pollution and create a circular economy’
Plastic pollution and its detrimental impacts on health, the economy and the environment cannot be ignored. Urgent action is required by Countries, Governments, Companies and Employers, Organisations and Individuals. Companies like Royal Mail need to move away from investing in ‘Plastic Production’ like the Plastic York Container Sleeves they are investing in and manufacturing for their fleet of 750,000 York Containers plus renewals and replacements and then there’s the waste!
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
23LTB131 World Environment Day 2023 – Theme Beat Plastic Pollution
UN Press Release – UN roadmap outlines solutions to cut global plastic docx
UNEP – Beat Plastic Pollution Practical Guide 2023 – World Env.Day
UN Report ‘Turning off the Tap’ How The World Can End Plastic Pollution …