2024 Earth Day Spotlight: ‘Planet vs Plastics’ Targets a 60% Cut in Plastic Use by 2040

April 27, 2024
1 min read
The concept of World Environment Day
The concept of World Environment Day. The man's hand holds the earth in a plastic bag. In the blank for social advertising there is a place for the inscription. Photo Credit: Plasticstoday.com (CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED)

To support environmental efforts, Earth Day is observed globally on April 22. It was first celebrated across US college campuses in 1970, months after a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara. The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “Planet vs Plastics.”

US Senator Gaylord Nelson initiated Earth Day to raise awareness about ecological issues. Environmental activist Denis Hayes began organizing events on a national scale. “Planet vs Plastics,” the theme of the 2024 Earth Day celebrations, focuses on reducing plastics on a global scale. A tribal chief in the USA once said, “Man has no right on Earth, rather the Earth has got right on humanity.” Plastics have caused havoc on the planet. Recently, the government of Nepal had to organize a campaign to banish plastics from Mount Everest. The rivers and oceans are full of plastics, posing a threat to the life of not only human beings but also wild and marine life. Plastics have become a hazard to our health.

A strong movement is needed to get rid of plastics from our day-to-day life. Ecological activist Sunita Narayan has urged all people to avoid the use of plastics as far as possible. We cannot get rid of plastics completely, as it is a necessary evil, but we can reduce its use. Nowadays, we see paper bags instead of plastic ones for covering many things. Unknowingly, animals fall prey to plastics, and water is polluted by them.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed to all the citizens of the world to make all-out efforts to make the planet free of plastics. In the USA, the presidential election has become a center for green activists to propagate the idea of a plastic-free planet. President Joe Biden is an environmentalist, while his opponent Donald Trump is not an enthusiast for ecological balance. In the Indian general election, voters can support only the promoters of the plastic-free planet idea.

EARTH DAY.ORG has renewed its commitment to end the pervasive use of plastics. Its aim is to reduce the production of plastics by 60% by 2040. This will enable both human and planetary health to be safeguarded. A coalition comprising students, parents, businesses, governments, and NGOs has been formed. It is united in advocating for a world free from the harmful impacts of plastics. This collective effort seeks not only a reduction in plastic production but also envisions a future where generations to come can thrive without the burden of plastic pollution.

We can pray to God, in the words of poet Rabindranath Tagore, “Into that heaven let my planet awake.”

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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