World Earth Day 2024 Sets Goal to Reduce Global Plastic Production by 60%

World Earth Day 2024 aims to reduce global plastic production by 60% by 2040, tackling pollution and climate change. Governments, businesses, and individuals must unite to address this global crisis.

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Mazhar Abbas
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World Earth Day 2024 Sets Goal to Reduce Global Plastic Production by 60%

World Earth Day 2024 Aims to Reduce Plastic Production by 60% by 2040

World Earth Day 2024, themed "Planet vs Plastics," has set an ambitious goal to reduce global plastic production by 60% by 2040 in an effort to combat pollution. The origins of this initiative can be traced back to the 1970 U.S. environmental movement led by Gaylord Nelson and Denis Hayes.

The event, which will be held on April 22, 2024, marks the start of the fourth round of negotiations for a Global Plastics Treaty, with delegates from 175 countries gathering in Ottawa to chart the future of plastics and plastic pollution. Over 50 nations, including the UK, have demanded an end to plastic pollution by 2040.

Why this matters: Plastic pollution has become a global crisis, with the UN reporting that the world is producing 430 million tons of plastic annually, two-thirds of which is used for a short period before ending up in oceans, rivers, and lakes. Microplastics formed from the breakdown of larger plastics pose significant health risks like endocrine issues, cancer, and dementia.

The plastic industry is also a major contributor to climate change, producing up to 5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. To address this, the Earth Day 2024 campaign calls for widespread public awareness about the health risks of plastics and a push for a strong UN treaty on plastic pollution.

Plastic Reduction: While reducing plastic use will be incredibly difficult, steps are being taken to address the issue. The Biden administration has issued a special Earth Day 2024 proclamation, and USAID is committing an additional $35.7 million to its Save Our Seas Initiative, which has already prevented over 99,000 metric tons of plastic from entering the environment.

Individuals can also contribute to the fight against plastic pollution by auditing their household plastic use, replacing plastic items with more environmentally friendly alternatives, recycling, using reusable items, and supporting local ecosystems.

Earth Day Unites: "The challenges facing the planet are daunting, but progress is being made when stakeholders come together to invest in solutions," said a USAID spokesperson. As World Earth Day 2024 approaches, the global community is uniting to turn the tide on plastic pollution and secure a more sustainable future for the planet.

Key Takeaways

  • World Earth Day 2024 aims to reduce global plastic production by 60% by 2040.
  • The event marks the start of the 4th round of negotiations for a Global Plastics Treaty.
  • Plastic pollution produces up to 5% of all greenhouse gas emissions globally.
  • The Biden administration and USAID are investing in initiatives to combat plastic waste.
  • Individuals can reduce plastic use by auditing, replacing, recycling, and supporting ecosystems.