World Environment Day observed

World Environment Day observed

Islamabad (Web Desk): World Environment Day is being observed today (Monday) across the globe, including Pakistan, to highlight hazards of plastic pollution imposing grave impacts on nature and human health.

This year's theme of the World Environment Day is solutions to plastic pollution under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution.

More than 430 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year worldwide, half of which is designed to be used only once.

The civil society, government departments including Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, non-governmental organisations and others will hold awareness walks, seminars and symposiums to sensitise masses on plastic pollution.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in his message on the occasion of World Environment Day, expressed Pakistan's unwavering commitment to combat plastic pollution and embark on a journey of plastics reduction, the Radio Pakistan reported.

He emphasized the need to combat plastic pollution under the global theme "Beating Plastic Pollution."

PM Shehbaz said that as one of the top ten countries in the world for plastic pollution, Pakistan recognizes the urgent need for action.

He said the government has prioritised the adoption of environment friendly alternatives and is actively working on the Plastics Prohibition Regulation 2023 for the Islamabad Capital Territory.

"This regulation will establish a comprehensive framework and timeline for phasing out single-use plastics, while also leading by example on a plan to reduce and then ban the use of single use plastics by the entire federal government," the premier said.

In a demonstration of the federal government's commitment to reduce plastic waste in Pakistan, PM Shehbaz directed the Prime Minister House to stop using single-use plastics, which like the Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination, will lead the way in phasing out and restricting the use of Polyethylene terephthalate or PET bottles in federal ministries, and divisions across the board.

The prime minister called upon all stakeholders, including citizens, businesses, civil society organizations, and the media, to renew their commitment in fight against plastic pollution and preserving the planet's biodiversity for future generations.

Meanwhile, Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, in her message said that the consequences of plastic pollution are intense and long term, as it irreversibly damages our environment and threatens the very fabric of life on earth.

She urged a call for action as plastic production is set to triple by 2060 if no serious measures are taken to stop it.

The Minister shared the 7R's Action Agenda which marks the country's commitment to combat plastic pollution and initiate its journey towards reducing plastic waste.

These 7 R's are reduce, redesign, reuse, recycle, responsibility, research, and resource.
Sherry Rehman highlighted Pakistan's commitment to promoting a sustainable circular economy for plastics by reducing waste, consumption, and encouraging reuse, recycling, and material recovery.

The minister stressed the need for an incentive-driven approach to encourage consumers to change their plastic consumption habits.

Moreover, Naval Chief Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi has said Pakistan Navy is taking steps for the protection of aquatic environment.

In his message on world environment day, he said these include cleaning of harbors, establishment of Reedbed plants in the areas under Pakistan Navy's precinct and extensive plantation drives.

He said those associated with the industries must also adopt such methods that help effectively address the issue of plastic pollution.