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World Environment Day today

The World Environment Day will be observed in the country, as elsewhere across the globe, today, encouraging people in taking collective and transformative action on a global scale to protect and restore the planet and its environment.

Held on June 5 each year, World Environment Day has a specific host country and a theme. Côte D’Ivoire, in partnership with the Netherlands, is this year’s host. The theme of the day is ‘solutions to plastic pollution’, under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution.

The United Nations General Assembly established June 5 as World Environment Day, commemorating the start of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. Also, the UN Environment Programme was founded as a result of another resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the same day, June 5, in 1972.

The day was first observed in 1973. Since then, the annual event serves as a wake-up call to redirect people’s attention to Mother Earth. This year marks the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day.

More than 150 countries are expected to participate in this year’s World Environment Day.

More than 430 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year worldwide, two-thirds of which are short-lived products that soon become waste. While the social and economic costs of plastic pollution range between $US300 to US$600 billion per year.

As the recent United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, Turning off the Tap, makes clear, redesigning how we produce, use, recover and dispose of plastics and products could save US$4.5 trillion by 2040.

“We must refuse unnecessary single-use items. We must redesign products and packaging to use less plastic. We must reuse, recycle, reorient and diversify our systems. This is how we keep plastic out of the ecosystems and in the economy. Everyone must play their part,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in a video message.