Today, on June fifth, we have fun World Environment Day, an annual event established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. The aim of at the present time is to advertise global awareness and motion in support of our natural habitat.
In an increasingly urbanized world, it’s crucial to recollect the importance of the health of our planet as a fundamental pillar for the survival and well-being of all its inhabitants. With nearly all of the world’s population already residing in cities, and an estimated 150,000 people migrating to urban areas every day (corresponding to a new city the scale of Los Angeles every month), the importance of sustainable urban development becomes evident. It is anticipated that by 2030, not less than 2 billion more people may have moved to cities, particularly in developing countries.
This 12 months, the main focus of World Environment Day is on eliminating the usage of plastics, an urgent environmental issue that requires immediate attention and motion. In accordance with UN data, roughly 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually, and the degradation technique of this material can take as much as 1,000 years. A major amount of this plastic results in our oceans, resulting in detrimental effects on marine life and disrupting entire ecosystems.
Our current use of plastic is unsustainable. Despite efforts to recycle, a big portion of the plastic produced results in landfills or the environment, causing catastrophic consequences for wildlife and ecosystems.
Plastic pollution impacts the environment in several ways:
- Habitat pollution: Improperly disposed plastics find their way into rivers, seas, and oceans, causing severe damage to marine ecosystems. Animals often mistake plastics for food, resulting in digestive blockages which can be continuously fatal.
- Harm to marine life: Plastics can entangle marine species, suffocating or immobilizing them. Moreover, microplastics, that are plastic particles smaller than 5 mm, might be ingested by marine fauna and accumulate within the food chain.
- Slow degradation: Most plastics will not be biodegradable and may take 500-1,000 years to interrupt down, leading to long-lasting environmental impacts.
- Release of toxic substances: Some plastics contain harmful additives that might be released into the environment during decomposition or incineration, contributing to soil, water, and air pollution.
- Contribution to climate change: The production and disposal of plastics emit greenhouse gases, further contributing to climate change.
On World Environment Day, we aim to boost awareness and mobilize individuals, communities, firms, and governments to deal with this critical issue. We’re encouraged to reconsider our use of single-use plastics, explore more sustainable alternatives, and advocate for policies that reduce plastic production and consumption.
Source: National Geographic