A very Happy World Environment Day! India is hosting the World Environment Day,2018 and the theme is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution ’
5th June marks the date of the UN Stockholm Conference on Environment held in 1972.
This conference, one of the first that addressed the need to conserve the degrading environment, saw differences emerging between the Northern (Developed) and the Southern World (Developing).
The reason was that the Northern world had already undergone development, and in the process, had caused most of the harm that the environment suffered from. The Southern world found it unjust for the conservation directives to now be imposed on the two worlds alike.
However, the destruction has been done, and only a collective effort can save us. Thus, we are all into this, marking 5th June with one or the other of the several environmental concerns, as the Theme for the year.
The theme for 2018 is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.
India produces 56 Lakh tonnes of plastic waste annually and plastics take 500-1000 years to degrade. If we don’t act now, we will be buried in our own muck!
LAWS AND IMPLEMENTATION IN INDIA:
• The law stated that no manufacturer or vendor can use a plastic bag which is below 50 microns, because thinner plastics are more difficult to dispose. However, plastics above 50 microns continued to be used.
• On 1st Jan, 2017, a ban was imposed on disposable plastic in Delhi NCR. Places like Mumbai, Tirumala, Rajasthan, Kerela, Punjab, etc. are others where plastic has been banned in legal terms.
- To mark the Environment Day,2018 , the government has taken initiatives for plastic ban in all protected areas and has declared them ‘plastic free’.
- The government has also directed the States and Union Territories to organise awareness campaigns against plastic pollution.
However, effective implementation remains and India continues to stand in the 5 countries producing world’s largest plastic waste.
Countries like France, Ireland, China, Sweden, etc. that have been successful in decreasing plastic consumption have imposed heavy taxes on the production and purchase of plastics.
ENVIRONMENT CAMPAIGNS BY PRIVATE COMPANIES IN INDIA:
• Subhash Project and Marketing Limited (SPML), have now stepped in for the task. SPML Enviro joined hands with PEAT and learnt techniques for converting plastic waste into useful resources such as non-toxic synthetic gas (an alternative source of energy ). SPML Enviro has carried out several key projects such as the Okhla Sewage Treatment Plant, Delhi Jal Board etc.
• HCL Infosystems believes that the producers of electronic goods must take responsibility of recycling the electronic waste that the product becomes at the end of it’s life. It runs a recycling programme for which the customers can register through the online process.
• Nokia’s ‘Take Back’ campaign asks customers to drop their old gadgets in the stores and take home exciting gifts in return.
Examples like these must encourage the government and other private companies in their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
The most important question, however, remains, ARE WE DOING OUR BIT?
Environment conservation doesn’t remain a pass- time discussion of the sophisticated. It is about your life now. And no, your effort is not small or insignificant, it matters.
While plastic pollution is the theme for the year, other issues like Scarcity of Water, and Pollution of the Environment with chemicals cannot be ignored. We need to act for ourselves, for “there is no Plan(et) B!”
Care about the environment, it is yours as much as it is anybody else’s . A Happy World Environment Day!