As the world honors the International Environmental Day celebration; plastic ban is still the menace to defeat in many countries.
This year’s event is hosted in New Delhi. Indian philosophy and lifestyle has long been rooted in the concept of co-existence with nature, according to an announcement by the minister of environment, forest and climate change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
“The Government of India has committed to organizing and promoting the World Environment Day celebrations through a series of engaging activities and events generating strong public interest and participation.
“From pan-Indian plastic clean-up drives in public areas, national reserves and forests to simultaneous beach clean-up activities – India will lead the initiative by setting an example”, said the minister.
He added that the country has demonstrated tremendous global leadership on climate change and the need to shift to a low carbon economy. The country, he states, will help galvanize greater action on the notorious plastic pollution.
“It’s a global emergency affecting every aspect of our lives. It’s in the water we drink and the food we eat. It’s destroying our beaches and oceans. India will now be leading the push to save our oceans and planet”, the minister further stated.
Kenya plastic ban
Back at home, the country has so far made huge positive strides towards single use plastic ban for almost a year now. Kenyan enforced the law on plastic ban in 2017.
In Kenya, illegal users of plastic bags risk arrest and jail term up to 4 years or a hefty fine not exceeding Kshs. 2 million.
Plastic ban is seen as a positive change towards maintaining a clean environment, safe water and efficiency agricultural and energy production across the country.
Kenya’s bold decision to ban plastic carrier manufacture, sale and use has been praised by many environmentalists.
International Earth Day
The 2018 International Earth Day (April 22), with the theme ‘End Plastic Pollution, also campaigned against plastic use with four major components:
- A grass root movement to support the adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution.
- Educating, mobilizing and activating citizens across the globe to demand that government and corporations control and clean up plastic pollution.
- Educating people worldwide to take personal responsibility over plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastic.
- Promoting local government regulatory and other efforts to tackle plastic pollution.
In addition, Kenya banned Asbestos in 2006 after it was linked to cancer.
Plastic use and health
Health wise, most cans used in storing food (canned foods) are lined with an organic compound named bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been shown to genetically alter the brain cells of rats. Many plastic goods, thermal paper, water lines, and dental composites also contain BPA.
In line with environmental safety and conservation, more changes are expected to take off mostly in the packaging sector.
Lamu coal plant
As the global environmental celebration day reaches its peak and how the country won the war against plastic use is being celebrated locally, a group of local activist plans to hold a peaceful demonstration against a Lamu coal plant, which they believe will pose an environmental peril.
The national government project, according to the activists, poses danger to the area due to its potential to release poison. The campaign also include the widely used social media; twitter with the #deCOALonize.
Lamu to Nairobi
The project worth Kshs. 22billion by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco), expected to begin soon, will likely take 3 years to be completed and projected to produce 960 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the proposed 1,050MW from Lamu to Nairobi through Kitui county.
Going by the theme ‘Coal Ni Sumu’ (coal is poison) and through various social media messages, the group met at Freedom Corner, Nairobi’s Uhuru Park from 10am for the protest.
Supporters of the campaign wore black to remonstrate against the coal plant that was erected in Lamu.
The World Environmental Day takes place June 5 every year since it began in 1972. The day is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the environmental safety and protection.