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Opinions of Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Columnist: Edem Kojo Doe

Change the attitude: Not the climate

Humans are both mortals and molders of their environment, which gives them physical nourishment and gives them the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth.

As we commemorate the 44th World Environment Day (WED) today, let us remember the words of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in his book, Consciencism, he said, “Thought without practice is empty. Practice without thought is blind”.

So as citizens of the global economy, we must practice environmental sustainability by taking action to rid our oceans of plastic pollution and also change our attitudes on indiscriminate disposal of plastic waste not the climate. Annual celebrations of World Environment Day began in 1974. The theme of WED 2018 is Beat Plastic Pollution.

The campaign on the theme, “Beat Plastic Pollution” is about being less wasteful, being smarter in how we design and use products, and protecting our own nations and more especially our common oceans.

Did you know that globally, we dump around eight million tonnes of plastics into the sea every year? That is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050 (World Wildlife Federation, 2018).

There is no denying the negative impact plastic pollution is having on our environment, wildlife and humanity. Here are some simple actions you can take in your daily life to reduce your use of unnecessary single-use plastics:

1. Avoid collecting/using single use plastic bags and packaging at the market.

2. Always carry your own reusable cloth bags to the market.

3. Avoid buying convenient foods packaged in plastics.

4. Avoid single-use plastic bottles and cups, use reusable glass/metal bottles.

5. In case you collect plastic bags, sachets, and bottles when shopping, segregate them for reuse and recycling.

Alternate Reuse Bags

Cleaning up our environment and reducing plastics use is possible, we just need to consciously and deliberately take action.

We can beat plastic pollution by avoiding the collection/use of single-use plastic bags and packaging at the market, carrying your own reusable cloth bags to the market, avoid buying convenient foods packaged in plastics, avoid single-use plastic bottles and cups, use reusable glass/metal bottles and In case you collect plastic bags, sachets, and bottles when shopping, segregate them for reuse and recycling. We must change the attitude, Not the climate!

#BeatPlasticPollution

By Edem Kojo Doe
Pan Africanist, Landscape designer, Environmentalist, Gender activist and a Kufuor Scholar.
(student, University of Education, Winneba)