GUWHATI, Jun 7: India being the global host of the 2018 World Environment Day on June 5, 2018. ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ – the theme for World Environment Day 2018 aims to inspire governments, industries, communities and individuals to reduce the consumption and production of single-use plastics. Supporting the campaign, WWF-India has pledged to #Give Up single use plastic by minimizing and ultimately phasing out usage of all single use plastics in all its offices across India. The organizational policy on the same includes guidelines on plastic use and recycling, and a transparent data monitoring program to track the use of ‘Single Use Plastics’ in WWF offices in India.
WWF-India is taking forward the ‘Give Up to Give Back’ initiative started earlier this year, with several activities and events planned across the country aimed at reducing the use of single-use plastics through awareness and information. Various organizations and companies like Nagarro, MakeMyTrip, ITC, Woodland and others have already started their ‘#Give Up’ journeys and significantly reduced the consumption of single-use plastics. The 5.6 million individuals strong Bharat Scouts and Guides have been a significant change-maker in the initiative by giving up plastic woggles or neck scarf holders, which are an important part of their uniform and identity, with a cloth alternative. More recently, MakeMyTrip has pledged a “No Plastic Zone” office as part of the WWF-India #GiveUp initiative and is also undertaking several initiatives pan India to build awareness for the same. Globally, WWF is supporting UN Environment’s ‘tag game’ on social media, with staff and network offices all over the world showcasing various ways to #BeatPlasticPollution and encouraging others to do the same.
Speaking about the indiscriminate spread of discarded plastic, Ravi Singh, Secretary-General and CEO, WWF-India, said, ‘Globally’, plastic pollution, caused by the production and use of single-use plastics, is deteriorating the environment. As we continue to develop practices which reduce our impact on the planet, our pledge to minimise single use plastics and ultimately phase out its usage across all our offices is an effort to build a sustainable planet for future generations. We believe it is our responsibility to take up such initiatives and inspire corporate partners, schools, colleges and other stakeholders to do the same. “
In the commencement of week-long activities to drive the message of reducing single-use plastic consumption, the WWF-India Assam and Arunachal Pradesh State Office has driven awareness campaigns in departmental stores and market places in different localities of Guwahati City. On June 4,WED Awareness programme was organized at Handique Girls’ College Guwahati which was graced by Dr. Amarjyoti Kashyap, President and Chief Functionary, ENVIRON NGO, Professor Ranjit Choudhury, Senior Advisor, AAPSO, Mr. Utpal Dutta, Principal, Handique Girls’ College, Vice Principal NiramaliMedhi, members of Animals NGO, Guwahati and teachers and students from Handique Girls College. Mrs. Archita Baruah Bhattacharya, State Coordinator, AAPSO began the program with her welcome speech which was accompanied by a power point presentation on the theme, #BeatPlasticPollution. Mrs. Bhattacharyya also appealed to the student community and all present to follow the maxim Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse and Repurpose and Give up Plastic to Beat Plastic Pollution. Dr. Kashyap shared his ideas with the audience on ‘how to manage solid waste’ and help curb Plastic Pollution followed by an interactive session with the audience. The program ended with a pledge ceremony whereby everyone present at the event pledged to Give Up Single Use Plastics to Beat Plastic Pollution. Principal Prof Utpal Dutta of Handique Girls’ College, Guwahati, thanked WWF-India for coming forward to join hands with the College to create awareness about the threat created by ‘Plastic Pollution’.
On 5th June, the World Environment Day was marked with the AAPSO team joining an awareness drive organized by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation at the Uzan Bazar market area. The program was attended by the Mayor of Guwahati, Shri MrigenSarania, Smt Monalisa Goswami, Commissioner-GMC, Archita Baruah Bhattacharyya, Coordinator WWF-India AAPSO,Sr. Advisor of WWF-India AAPSO Prof.Ranjit Choudhury and Mr. KashinathHazarika, WWF Volunteers and local NGOs. This was followed by WWF’s awareness programme at Deepor Beel where Forest Department, MyGov, RGVN and HelpEarth, students & teachers of Sanskriti-The Gurukul and Deshbhakta Tarun Ram Phukan ME School also joined. Dignitaries present shared their views on the alternatives available to Beat Plastic Pollution. It was followed by sapling plantation by the students and the dignitaries present on the bank of the lake. Local school students, communities, forest dept. and WWF participated in a rally cleaning the area. Street Play was shown by a local NGO showing how literate people can contribute in generating plastic waste. The program ended with a signature campaign on the theme Beat Plastic Pollution.