The world is being ‘swamped’ by harmful plastic waste says UN chief, marking Environment Day

By | 8 June 2018

UNEP/Cyril Villemain Local people from Watamu, Kenya, work with Local Ocean Conservation to pick up plastic on the beach each Friday.

In his message marking the day on 5 June, he said a healthy planet was essential for a prosperous and peaceful future, spelling out that: “We all have a role to play in protecting our only home.”

“Our world is swamped by harmful plastic waste,” he stated. “Every year, more than eight million tonnes end up in the oceans.”

Pointing out the astonishing comparison between stars in the cosmos and ocean plastics, Mr. Guterres underscored that “from remote islands, to the Artic, nowhere is untouched.”

If present trends continue, by 2050 our oceans will have more plastic than fish, he said.

On World Environment Day, Mr. Guterres is encouraging everyone to also stop using plastic products which are designed just to be thrown away, such as plastic bottles.

“Refuse what you can’t re-use,” he asserted.

“Together, we can chart a path to a cleaner, greener world,” concluded the Secretary-General.

Since it was first celebrated in 1974, the Day has helped raise awareness and generate political momentum around global environmental concerns such as ozone depletion, desertification and global warming.

<iframe width=”802″ height=”451″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/3syYpQO7TFQ” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>