50 years of ‘WORLD EARTH DAY’

World Earth day is celebrated every year on 22nd April since 1970 to demonstrate support towards environment protection. Usually people go out for awareness drives on this day which is not possible this year because of the COVID pandemic. This year digital platforms are being used for the same.

The theme for 2020 is ‘Climate change’.

The proliferation of single-use plastic around the world is accelerating climate change and should be urgently halted, a report warns.

Plastic production is expanding worldwide contributing to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is managed as a waste product.

This plastic binge threatens attempts to meet the Paris climate agreement. It means that by 2050 plastic will be responsible for up to 13% of the total carbon budget – equivalent to 615 coal-fired power plants.

The contribution of plastic production and disposal to climate change has been largely hidden, say the authors of report by the Centre for International Environment Law, which estimates the greenhouse gas footprint of plastic from the cradle to the grave for the first time.

While plastic pollution in the oceans has become a high-profile concern, the effect on climate change of the ubiquitous use of plastic has not been a focus.

After the extraction of fossil fuels to produce plastic, the carbon footprint of a material which has become ubiquitous across the globe continues through the refining process, and on well past its useful life as a drinks bottle or plastic bag, through the way it is disposed of and the plastic afterlife.

Disposable plastic found in packaging and fast-moving consumer goods forms the largest and fastest-growing segment of the plastic economy. At current levels, greenhouse gas emissions from the plastic lifecycle threaten the ability of the global community to keep global temperature rise below 1.5⁰C.

Some of the key solutions that we can think about to build consumer leadership are: Immediately ending the production and use of single-use, disposable plastic, Stop development of new oil, gas and petrochemical infrastructure, Foster the transition to zero-waste communities, Implement a system where polluters pay for the impact of their products – known as extended producer responsibility.

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