World Environment Day 2018 Celebrations Kick Off; 

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Three Thematic Sessions Being Held on Day One

“Need of the Hour is to Create Social Awareness on Reducing Single Use of Plastic”: Dr. Mahesh Sharma

The global celebrations of World Environment Day 2018, being hosted by India, kicked off with a total of three thematic sessions being held at Vigyan Bhawan here today.  Reflecting the “Beat Plastic Pollution” theme of this year’s World Environment Day, the inaugural session focussed on the management of plastic pollution.  In his special address on the occasion, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma pointed out that the need of the hour is to create a social awareness, particularly among the youth, on reducing the single use of plastic and its reuse.    He said that the menace of plastic cannot be tackled till a win-win situation is created for all the stakeholders with regard to the use of plastic.  Emphasising the importance of Extended Producer Responsibility in reducing the use of plastic, the Minister gave a call to rope in the organised sector to retrieve, recycle and reuse plastic.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri C.K Mishra, highlighted the need to introspect on what can be done individually, as well as collectively to reduce the use of plastic.  He added that the need of the hour is to launch a strong campaign to say no to the single use of plastic.

In his special address as Guest of Honour, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Durga Shankar Mishra said that single use plastics are a concern because they are non-biodegradable.   “Total plastic produced in the last decade is more than that generated in the whole century”, he added.

Addressing the gathering, European Union (EU) Ambassador to India, Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski praised India’s leadership role on environmental issues.  Highlighting the concept of “Plogging”, (combination of picking up plastic waste and jogging) the EU Ambassador said that this concept is popular in several European nations and can be used to reduce plastic pollution.

Ambassador, Kingdom of Norway, Mr. Nils Ragnar Kamsvag,  Environment, Climate and Energy Counsellor, delegation of European Union to India, Ms. Henriette Faergemann, Additional Secretary, MoEF&CC, Mr. A.K Jain and Convenor, CII Working Group on Plastic Waste Management, Mr. Pradeep Banerjee were among those present on the occasion.

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