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Earth Day Org calls for 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040

People take part in a 'March to End the Plastic Era' rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, on Sunday, April 21, 2024   -  
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Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press


People around the world are marking World Earth Day on Monday, a reminder of the importance of protecting the environment.

This year, the focus is on plastic pollution which is seen as one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time.

A million plastic bottles are bought every minute, five trillion plastic bags used worldwide every year, and half of all plastic produced is for single-use purposes.

Under this year’s theme – Planet vs Plastics - Earth Day Org is calling for a 60 per cent reduction in plastic production by 2040.

While eliminating plastic is a mammoth task, small changes made by us as individuals can make a big difference.

“There are steps we can take to reduce plastic. It takes a little bit of thought and it’s hard and don't be hard on yourself. You are going to purchase some plastic when you go shopping,” says Judith Enck of the US-based organisation, Beyond Plastics.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) humans produce 400 million tonnes plastic waste each year.

This pollutes takes up space in landfills, pollutes the oceans, and because of its durability, can stay in our environment for centuries.

“Consumers need to know that most plastics are not recyclable. Only five to six per cent of plastics are recyclable in the United States. So your key tip is to try to avoid plastic wherever you can,” says Enck.

She believes that by taking action as individuals, we are doing something practical rather than just feeling guilty about the state of our planet.

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