Residents collect plastics bottles and bags in the Ebrie Lagoon in Abidjan ahead of World environnement Day celebrations. AFP
"Every year, over 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced worldwide - one-third of which is used just once,” said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. "Every day, the equivalent of over 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic is dumped into our oceans, rivers, and lakes.”
Activists carry a model of the globe filled with plastic during an awareness campaign on World Environment Day in Hyderabad. AFP
He noted that "microplastics are finding their way into the food we eat, the water we drink, and even the air we breathe.”
"Plastic is made from fossil fuels - the more plastic we produce, the more fossil fuel we burn, and the worse we make the climate crisis”, the UN chief added.
But solutions are at hand, including the legally binding agreement that remains on course following five days of negotiations involving more than 130 nations last week.
"This is a promising first step, but we need all hands on deck”, he said, stressing that a new report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) showed that plastic pollution can be reduced by a staggering 80 percent by 2040 - if humankind acts now to reuse, recycle, and pivot away from plastics.
"We must work as one - governments, companies, and consumers alike - to break our addiction to plastics, champion zero waste, and build a truly circular economy. Together, let us shape a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future for all,” he noted.
The statistics for the damage caused by plastics are daunting; more than 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year worldwide, half of which is designed to be used only once. Of that, less than 10 percent is recycled, according to UN figures.
An estimated 19-23 million tonnes end up in lakes, rivers, and seas annually — approximately the weight of 2,200 Eiffel Towers.
Guided by the vision and directives of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the emirate of Sharjah has been taking relentless and extraordinary steps, to cement its global reputation in the field of environmental conservation and preservation of biological diversity.
The winners were Abdullah Mohammed Al Dhaheri for best short story, Maryam Yousef Al Marzouqi for best artwork, Ghaya Saad Al Ahbabi for best educational video, Sarah Salem Smaidfor best awareness campaign, and Sainath Manikandan for best technical or scientific project.
The 19-floor H2O Holy Faith complex of 90 flats — overlooking Kerala state's famous lush backwaters — was the first to go down, collapsing in just a matter of few seconds.
Featuring more than 200 distinguished local and international calligraphers and artists, the Biennale seeks to underscore the significance of calligraphy as a powerful medium for cultural expression.
Last month, the government in Sindh introduced a bill that would imprison parents for up to one month if they fail to get their children immunised against polio or eight other common diseases.
Sharjah Police arrested an Arab national who deceived women by promoting home massage services in return for cheap prices through a social media platform, for the purpose of blackmail and threats to obtain money.