Earth Day marked with commitment to end plastic pollution

earth dayLalitpur : Earth Day has been celebrated in Nepal on Sunday with a commitment to end plastic pollution. At a programme jointly organised by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Clean Energy Nepal in the capital, various speakers laid emphasis on taking initiatives by general people to reduce the use of plastic, expressing concern that plastic pollution has created havoc not just demeaning the aesthetic value of the urban and non-urban places but threatening the life of marine biodiversity.

On the occasion, Chairperson of Lalitpur Metropolitan City-15, Sudarshan Mishara said “Governments alone cannot end plastic pollution, citizen awareness and pressure on local representatives are vital for such a campaign to succeed.” Similarly, UNDP Climate Expert Shanti Karanjit stated that the donor agencies should carry out activities joining hands with local governments while Programme Manager of Clean Energy Nepal, Rajan Thapa, expressed the view that although the use of plastic products could not been stopped completely, plastic pollution could be reduced in some extent if it is used in a proper way.

At the wake of ever growing nuisance and threat plastic pollution is posing on the health of the planet and the life system support it provides to thousands of species, this year’s Earth Day is dedicated to curbing plastic pollution. Nepal is not an exception to this ever-growing bane of the modern lifestyle. In fact, the problems caused by plastic pollution are bigger in the developing and least developed countries where the willingness to opt for alternatives to plastic is comparatively lower.

With the objective of reaching out to mass public and stirring awareness on issues of plastic pollution, Clean Energy Nepal has collaborated with Lalitpur Metropolitan City Ward No. 15, United Nations Development Program and Nepalese Youth for Climate Action (NYCA) to join a global Pledge against Plastic Pollution to mark the Earth Day 2018. The first day of the Earth Day celebration was on held April 21st under the chairmanship of Ward Chief of Lalitpur Metropolitan City Ward No. 15 and active participation of ward representatives.

The highlights of the day were exhibition of photographs collected throughout an online call for participation and demonstration of environment friendly options for recycling and upcycling of plastic. Two photographs from each participant to signify one as problem and the other as solution based on the theme Plastic Pollution were presented. The top three winners of the competition were awarded with the cash prize of 10,000, 7,500 and 5,000 respectively.

Likewise, several stalls of up-cycled plastic products were the attraction of the exhibition. On the 2nd day of the celebration i.e. Earth Day 22nd April, a collection of messages regarding plastic pollution was published on a national daily. Similarly, a group of youths performed a flash mob dance and drama to raise awareness about the need for local & global solidarity and innovation to end plastic pollution amidst the plastic consumer crowd in Civil Mall and Ranipokhari area of Patan.

The two-day celebration of Earth Day has allowed youths to be engaged in witnessing the problem and also seeking the solutions through photography. Similarly, engagement of local women groups in the program has strongly advocate to stop the use of plastic at the consumer level. The event is expected raise awareness on the urgency to end plastic pollution and bring positive change in the use of plastic culture. On the occasion, a total of 524 metric tonnes of garbage is collected from Kathmandu Valley every day. Of them, 63 per cent is organic waste while 80 per cent of the remaining 37 per cent of non-organic waste is plastic-related garbage. (RSS)