World Environment Day 2018: Starting With The Taj Mahal, India Pledges To Make 100 Monuments Litter-free'Taj Mahal Declaration' adopted to check plastic pollution in Agra ahead of World Environment Day

New Delhi: India is making sure this year’s World Environment Day celebrations are historic in nature – on Sunday, the government pledged to end the use of disposable, or single-use plastic around the Taj Mahal. Moreover, the government has also promised to make upto 500 metres around 100 historic monuments plastic-free, starting with Taj Mahal. In an event organised on Sunday at Taj Mahal, India’s Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Mahesh Sharma along with United Nations Environment Head Erik Solheim and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador and actor Dia Mirza, adopted “Taj Declaration” that aims at making Agra, which is among world’s top ten most polluted cities, free of plastic.

With our pledge today, India is sending a message to the world that we can beat plastic pollution. We are committed to making the peripheries of 100 historic monuments in India litter free, said Minister Mahesh Sharma.

Also Read: We All Need To Take Collective Actions To Reduce Consumption Of Single-Use Plastic: Union Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan

He further added, “Very constructive suggestions were made to reduce the pollution around the #TajMahal and its damaging impact on the monument. All the suggestions collected today shall be further deliberated upon.”

Also Read: #WorldEnvironmentDay: Five Ways India Is Leading The Battle Against Plastic Pollution

The minister also said that the government is committed towards the development of Agra in which the Union and State Governments, as well as the local administration along with all agencies, will work under a single umbrella.

UN Environment Head Erik Solheim added,

The Taj Mahal is a globally-recognised symbol of the beauty of India, so it’s all the more important that Agra sends a message around the world that enough is enough when it comes to the ugliness of plastic pollution!

Dia Mirza said,

I’m extremely proud and honoured to be here, not just as a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador but as a citizen of this country. The Taj Mahal is a symbol of love and with this declaration, we want to send out a message to the world about the love we need to give back to our earth by joining the movement to beat plastic pollution and reducing our consumption of single-use plastic.

She further added,

I am so encouraged and motivated to see the vigour with which #BeatPlasticPollution has taken off. Plastic is choking our environment, waterways and air. I see a revolution underway in India.

The commitments that have been made on Sunday includes – making areas around the Taj Mahal up to a limit of 500 metres around the monument litter free, segregating plastic waste generated near the monument for recycling, encouraging ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ tourism and launching mass consumer awareness campaigns about the negative impacts of single-use plastics thereby changing consumption patterns in the city.

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