Ban Single-use Plastic

WED is UN’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. Above all, World Environment Day is the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the Earth.

Some facts on Plastic

Every year the world uses 500 billion plastic bags

Each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, the equivalent of a full garbage truck every minute. 

In the last decade, we produced more plastic than in the whole last century  

50% of the plastic we use is single-use or disposable 

We buy 1 million plastic bottles every minute

Plastic makes up 10% of all of the waste we generate

Around the world, 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute. 

500 billion disposable plastic bags are used worldwide every year. 

In total, 50% of the plastic we use is single use. 

Nearly one-third of the plastic packaging we use escapes collection systems, which means that it ends up clogging our city streets and polluting our natural environment.

Every year, up to 13 million tons of plastic leak into our oceans, where it smothers coral reefs and threatens vulnerable marine wildlife.

The plastic that ends up in the oceans can circle the Earth four times in a single year

A sneak peak into our work

As part of the campaign, on 5th of June 2018, we are doing approx. half an hour of clean up drive (7.00 am – 8:00 am), putting the gathered plastic waste on a scarecrow pole and then posing with the suffocation mask to create an awareness to the public.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is World Environment Day?

WED is UN’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. Above all, World Environment Day is the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the Earth. 

Who is hosting WED 2018 celebrations?
India is the host country for WED 2018. 
What is the theme for this year’s WED?
Beat Plastic Pollution. 
What is single-use plastic?
Single-use plastic is a kind of plastic which can neither be reused nor recycled. Some examples of single-use plastic are– straws, polythene bags, several food packets etc. 
Why should single-use plastic be banned?
Single-use plastic has become a major source of pollution globally. According to an estimate, in 20 years, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. While Plastic is a unique material which has a very long life span, the ban of single-use plastic is that, it can neither be reused nor recycled. 
Why not ban the plastic all together?
Many environmentalists say, ‘ Ban the plastic, plastic is drastic”, but if we do this, as an immediate impediment, many areas of the economy would be hugely dysfunctional. 

Plastic is a great boon, But what lasts for 500 years, just to throw away in a single use, is highly senseless and irresponsible, given that 91% of plastic is not recycled. 

Banning single use plastic as a policy decision would bring a mass ban and would be one strong and dramatic step towards a more sustainable and future generation friendly future. 

Isn't it a huge economic loss for the country to ban?

We need to explore sustainable ways to use resourceful materials like plastic.  We produce half a trillion plastic bottles a year. We throw all these away and then produce half a trillion more. 91% of all plastic is not recycled. It is not only ecologically disastrous, it is economically senseless. Recycling of plastic is no longer a fad or luxury and it can create more business opportunities and need for lesser raw materials. Recycling has to become mandatory. Major nations must be change makers and start the process. 

What can we do to spread awareness about this cause?
One can join hands with Rally for Rivers and United Environment to hold awareness to beat plastic pollution in over 250 iconic locations across different cities worldwide on 5th June, World Environment Day. Isha Foundation and Rally for Rivers volunteers will gather at an iconic location in each of these cities for a clean-up drive and spread awareness to beat plastic pollution. In addition, we will also be spreading awareness for banning single-use plastic. One simple and effective way to spread awareness is by wearing a suffocation mask (make available) and sharing a photo, video with your friends, families and on social media. You can also join the Thunderclap campaign started by Rally for Rivers online. 
What are the different ways we can be part of the campaign
Can spread awareness in different schools and colleges and businesses, NGOs or any other places you think would be happy to be part of the campaign either with fundraising or joining the campaign live. 

You can also join in with our centers which are located in over 250 cities and can help out in their preparations for the event. 

U can design and plan a cleanliness drive, marathons or any other creative ideas you can come up with in your area and share about via photo, video with us as well as with your friends, families and on social platforms. 

What is Rally for Rivers?
Rally for Rivers is one of the world’s biggest environmental campaigns, started by Sadhguru in 2017 in which he personally drove across 16 Indian states in a month’s time. The campaign saw an unprecedented coming together of political leaders, farmers, industrialists, businessmen, students, professionals, media, culminating in the handing over of the draft policy recommendation to Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. The initiative enlarged into a large-scale people’s movement with the participation, in various modes, of over 162 million people, across all walks of life. 
Association between Rally for Rivers and UN's Environment?
Rally for Rivers is an official partner of United Nations Environment for World Environment Day 2018. 
What are Isha/RFR volunteers doing this year on WED?
Rally for Rivers and Isha Foundation volunteers will gather at over 250 iconic locations globally to raise awareness about the challenge single-use plastic has caused globally. They will also campaign for a policy action for banning single-use plastic. 
What is your mask made of? Is the mask you are using made of Plastic?
The suffocation mask is made of biodegradable material which looks like plastic, which means it can be disposed and recycled very easily. 
Will Rally for Rivers volunteers take up long term clean up drives?
It is important to understand that irresponsible usage of plastic, littering, not segregating plastic at source have caused immense damage to ecology and continue to. Therefore, it’s important to clean-up our homes, work spaces, public spaces and surroundings. So one aim of this campaign undertaken by RfR volunteers is to clean-up and convey the importance of it to larger communities. However, this is not a permanent solution. To curb the menace of single-use plastic, a policy driven action is needed. Hence, while this activity is a clean-up drive which is important, it is not a holistic, long-term solution to beat plastic pollution. 
What’s the progress in Rally for Rivers?
Rally for Rivers is entering the implementation phase in the state of Maharashtra. Two river systems have been identified for a pilot project on each of the river systems – one in Eastern and one in Western Maharashtra. Prime Minister’s Office and 7 state governments have shown interest in taking the campaign forward to RfR has signed MoUs with seven major, heavily farmed states and is advanced stages of discussions with them to explore possibilities of implementation. Pursuant to the submission of the draft policy recommendations, the Prime Minister’s Office has constituted a committee under the aegis of the Niti Aayog, India’s apex economic policy-making institution, to review the recommendations and finalise government policy actions. Rally for Rivers has also formed a National Board of eminent persons to steer the various initiatives.

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