United Nations: General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces has praised India’s war on plastic pollution. Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday (April 30) on the problem of plastic pollution choking the oceans and efforts to combat it, she singled out India for its efforts. She said,
Let me just mention and praise India for its commitment.
India pledged last year to eliminate all single-use plastic by 2022. The metro cities of Delhi and Mumbai and Tamil Nadu state have banned various types of single-use plastics. It is estimated that 90 per cent of plastics ending up in the oceans come from 10 rivers, among them the Ganges, which is ranked as the sixth biggest polluter.
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Ms. Espinosa said,
The challenge of plastics is one that spans the entire globe, every region, every ocean, every environment is impacted. We must work on this together.
She has made the war on single-use plastics a priority of her presidency and launched her campaign against it last December.
To bring the message to a wider audience, especially the young, she announced a festival against plastic pollution, “Play it Out”, in Antigua in June.
The concert with the theme of “Play it Out 2 Phase it Out” is to be streamed online by the UN TV and headlined by Ashanti, a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actress along with Machel Montano, a Soca musician. Ashanti said at the news conference,
This concert is about raising awareness, it’s about educating people to the seriousness of the situation.
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We have all seen the images of turtles choking on straws, or birds wrapped in plastic, and it’s devastating. But these images, while emotional, don’t capture how massive this problem really is.
About 15 million tonnes of plastic litter pollute the oceans every year, according to some calculations. Ms. Espinosa said,
It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.