World Environmental Day - #BeatPlasticPollution

What is World Environment Day?

World Environment Day, marked on June 5th every year, is driven and led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and is the “biggest international day for the environment”. Since 1973, UNEP has marked World Environment Day annually, encouraging people to take action to save the planet, which has brought about widespread acceptance for this annual campaign that has grown to become a global platform for environmental outreaches across the globe. Millions of people in the world have taken up actions to improve living, reduce hardship people face and improve the livelihoods of people, not to leave out the #MAD team, Sahara.

The theme for World Environment Day 2023 is #BeatPlasticPollution. It is a global call to individuals and businesses to combat plastic pollution, encouraging everyone to take actions that would bring a lasting solution to the plastic pollution the world faces today. This is a reminder that our action on plastic pollution matters and is significant to the overall goal of proper plastic waste management. According to UNEP, “the steps governments and businesses are taking to tackle plastic pollution are the consequence of this action.”

Plastic pollution is one of the most pervasive environmental problems facing our planet today. Plastic, produced from petroleum and other petrochemicals, is a major component of most consumer and industrial goods – from food packaging to electronics and more. Unfortunately, much of this plastic is simply thrown away and left to pile up in landfills, where it takes centuries to degrade. Even worse, plastic pollution is now finding its way into the world’s oceans, where it can be harmful to wildlife and human health. Clearly, it is time to take action and combat plastic pollution.

At Sahara Group Foundation, we are particular about improving the lives and livelihoods of communities all over the world, and we have done this with various initiatives carried out all over the world. Most significant to mention is our GO Recycling hub project. We have launched these innovative and empowering hubs in 3 locations across Lagos, with ten (10) more GO Recycling hubs lined up to be installed this year.

Lending a voice to the World Environment Day campaign, we believe the time is now to end plastic pollution and for us to creatively set up various means to empower people and communities to enable us to #BeatPlasticPollution.

What Can Individuals Do to Combat Plastic Pollution?

Individuals can take small steps to reduce their plastic consumption in the following ways:

  1. Don’t Use Plastic Bags: When shopping, try to carry your reusable bags – canvas, jute, or cloth – to carry your groceries or any items you buy in stores.
  2. Say No to Single-Use Plastics: Single-use plastics like straws, plates, utensils, and water bottles are some of the most common and wasteful items. Buy reusable bulk items like water bottles and straws and get traditional plates and utensils for daily use.
  1. Recycle: It is important to recycle all plastic items for which there is a recycling symbol or number. Keep a dedicated bin in your kitchen or home to collect plastic recyclables and turn them in at any of our GO Recycling Hubs close to you (Ijora, Isolo LCDA and Igando-Ikotun LCDA).
  2. Sponsor A Cleanup: Get out in your local community and organize cleanup of parks, beaches, and other public places. Sponsor local organizations that are dedicated to cleaning up plastic pollution.
  3. Educate or Sensitize: You can help spread the word to friends and family about the harmful effects of plastic pollution. Share educational articles and websites about plastic pollution with your network.

What actions have you taken, or do you intend to take to fight plastic pollution where you live?

By doing our part to reduce plastic waste, we can make a huge collective impact on plastic pollution. Taking these simple steps will leave future generations with a healthier, cleaner planet.

We look forward to a world free of the menace that poor plastic waste management has caused in our societies, and we encourage you to be a part of this drive.

World Environment Day #BeatPlasticPollution

David Ayinde.