5 June is World Environment Day, when governments around the world, but also individual citizens, are called upon to reflect on the health of our planet.
This day was established by the United Nations General Assembly 48 years ago to raise the awareness of governments and the public of major environmental issues. In fact, on 15 December 1972, Resolution 2994 was passed, stating: "The General Assembly designates 5 June as World Environment Day and urges Governments and the organisations in the United Nations system to undertake on that day every year world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment with a view to deepening environmental awareness and to pursuing the determination expressed at the Conference".
The theme chosen for World Environment Day 2023, #BeatPlasticPollution, draws attention to the urgent need to tackle this kind of pollution. UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, emphasised the importance of everyone's actions to address this issue. Irresponsible use and disposal of plastics have caused serious repercussions on environmental, social, economic and health aspects. Worldwide, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute and up to five trillion plastic bags are used each year. Half of all plastic produced is disposable, contributing to the accumulation of plastic waste in the environment.