ENVIRONMENTSOCIAL

How The World Celebrated Earth Day 2018: End Plastic Pollution

World Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22 and for 2018, it was the same.

Organizers around the world settled on this date as it is in the spring and yet does not collide with the religious occasions of Easter and Passover.

“Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics,” according to Earth Day Network.

Every organization from the Smithsonian to the government of Quebec and local organizations in Rome are holding meaningful events that encompass the Earth Day spirit – global reach, local action,” said Kathleen Roger, President of Earth Day Network.

The inspiration is to encourage people to reduce plastic consumption on daily basis. This is achieved through closer attention to the number of annual plastic consumption by individuals. The movement aims to significantly reduce the amount of plastic.

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What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is a yearly celebration to indicate bolster for environment protection.

The point is to urge individuals to do things that will profit the Earth, for example, reusing all the more, utilizing sun based power or plant trees.

The occasion happens far and wide and it is portrayed as the greatest mainstream celebration on the planet.

More than a billion individuals are expected to celebrate Earth Day 2018: End Plastic Pollution globally along with environmental campaigners Leonardo di Caprio and Emma Watson.

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How did Earth Day start?

Earth Day started after a staggering oil spill right around 50 years earlier initiated by peace activists to raise environmental mindfulness.

At a UNESCO meeting in San Francisco in 1969, peace extremist John McConnell recommended that a day ought to be put aside respecting the Earth and Mother Nature.

He trusted that people had a commitment to ensure the earth is taken care of for future generations to come and contribute from their side to achieve the same.

The Earth Day celebrations began since 1970 and 2,000 universities and 10,000 schools throughout the USA marked their contribution on the day.

Presently, it is celebrated in 192 nations over the world by around one billion individuals.

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Alarming plastic issues

Plastic is non-biodegradable and stays in the environment for above 2,000 years. Moreover, the alarming impact of plastic disposal to the ocean ecosystem and life has raised its concerns.

It is estimated that approximately a trillion plastic bags are used around the world every year. , According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), given the current pollution rates continue, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.

An average plastic bag is used for 20 minutes takes more than 400 years to break down. To give these statistics a local perspective, in 2015, the world produced 322 million tonnes of plastic. This equals to 900 Empire State Buildings!

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Earth Day events around the world

Earth Day celebration is the world’s largest environmental movement based on various themes each year.

The theme for this year being End Plastic Pollution was celebrated spectacularly in major cities of the world.

In the Union Square, New York, the event featured dozens of exhibitors comprising of environmental non-profit organizations, activities for children and live performances. More than 70 organizations were represented.

In Rome, Italy, the event was named as Earth Day Italia and the Focolare Movement. This is a five days event starting from 21st April 2018 to 25th April 2018. The 2018 event emphasized the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals dedicated to 5Ps of sustainability: People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnership, Peace.

In Thailand, the Sappraiwan elephant sanctuary committed planting 300 trees this Earth Day, in partnership with the Phitsanulok Province Government. 300 trees were provided to the community members for planting at their homes or at the sanctuary.

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Tokyo, Japan allied the world in celebrating Earth Day 2018 with an array of events organised under the Green Room Festival 2018 attracting thousands of participants. The events under this included: beach clean-ups, music presentations, art exhibits, yoga classes, and more.

Earth Day Network re-started its Billion Acts of Green campaign in China for Earth Day 2018 following the “End Plastic Pollution” theme. Events were hosted by schools, college student associations, museums and local nonprofits on awareness and active participation of people to reduce plastic pollution. More than 37 events were registered in 22 cities in China, with an estimated 20,000 number of people engagement.

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Our share of contribution?

Earth Day 2018 was celebrated to mark the End Plastic Pollution movement. Even if the plastic has been depicted being too harmful to the environment with legal actions around the world, the effective implementation for reduction is not possible unless the local communities globally change their perspectives and habits.

One of the drastic actions was taken by the Canadian Government to make Montreal plastic free city with its ban on plastic effective since first of January 2018.

As an individual, every little step will value more when done by thousands and millions. We can do the following to save our earth:

  • Using reusable bags for shopping
  • Reduce use of plastic materials such as straws, cups and plates
  • Buy cardboard boxes replacing plastic ones for storing
  • Using reusable products like bottles and cups
  • Packing meals in reusable containers rather than sandwich bags and plastic containers.

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