The very first World Environment Day was held on June 5th in 1973 to help create global awareness around pressing environmental issues like wildlife crime, climate change, air pollution, and deforestation. This year, June 5th marks the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day and the focus is on plastic pollution.
According to the Beat Plastic Pollution Practical Guide, plastic production has skyrocketed over the past 50 years and is expected to double over the next 20 years if no action is taken. You can help protect our ecosystems, wildlife, human health, and the global economy by making a difference on World Environment Day (and every day) in the following ways:
1. If you see a company using unnecessary plastic (like single-use plastic covering fruit at a grocery store), contact the company directly or call them out on social media.
2. Talk to your local representatives about the issue. Ask them to sign your town or city up to the Plastic Smart Cities Initiative, which supports cities and coastal areas in taking bold action to stop plastic pollution.
3. Change your behavior to avoid single-use plastics whenever possible. When looking for ways to honor World Environment Day for kids, teach them why your family uses stainless steel reusable water bottles instead of single-use water bottles.
4. Bring your own bags to the grocery store and do your best to avoid purchasing over-packaged products.
5. Get involved with local World Environment Day activities, such as volunteering with plastic clean-up groups and beach cleanup programs.
6. Let politicians know that you care about plastic pollution and that they should care too if they want your vote.
7. Purchase items with extended warranties that can be repaired and find a reliable recycler when the product reaches its end of life.
8. Donate to charities that are working to solve the plastic pollution crisis such as Plastic Free Foundation, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and the Ocean Blue Project.
Taking these actions can help to create additional awareness in your community and reverse plastic pollution. Be a part of the global movement to #BeatPlasticPollution.