04.06.2018 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

UNESCO message for the World Environment Day: Beat Plastic Pollution

Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the World Environment Day

Beat Plastic Pollution, 5 June 2018

For more than forty years, World Environment Day has reminded us of our responsibility for the preservation of our planet.

On the initiative of the Republic of India, host to this year's World Environment Day, the theme is "Beat Plastic Pollution", an environmental, social and economic concern.

Today, nearly one-third of the plastic packaging we use bypasses collection systems and ends up polluting our environment. This pollution particularly concerns our oceans. Carried by the seawater currents, billions of plastic fragments are amalgamated in the oceans. Over the last four decades, the amount of this waste has increased a hundredfold in the Pacific Ocean, to the point of forming what is now called the “seventh continent” of plastic, a vast garbage patch swirling around in the North Pacific, the size of one-third of the United States of America.

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