What is World Environment Day?
Occurring on the 5th June every year, World Environment Day is the principal initiative of the UN to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Each year has a theme that focusses attention on a pressing concern - recent efforts have included the prevention of the illegal trade of wildlife, addressing the huge wastage of food and connecting people to nature.
This year’s theme is beating plastic pollution.
Why plastic pollution?
Throughout the past year the issue of plastic pollution has gained significant traction. Public awareness is at an all-time high and businesses far and wide are now setting commitments to tackle this problem.
It’s not to say all plastic is inherently bad. It is used in medicine to keep hearts beating, in space travel to make new discoveries possible and in food production to reduce waste. However, with world production increasing exponentially from 2.3 million tonnes in 1950 to 448 million in 2015, our oceans are drowning in plastic. More than 40% is used just once, then tossed away. A middle of the road estimate suggests that 8.8 million tonnes ends up in the Earth’s natural sink, the ocean. As the EU Environment video says: “Let’s face it, we can’t go on like this…things are getting out of control.”
The encouraging aspect amongst all this is that the problem can be solved.
What is Anthesis doing?
World Environment Day calls for ‘something’ to be done. This can be locally, nationally, individually or as a group.
To help raise awareness and reduce our plastic impact, Anthesis is calling for all our colleagues across the globe to make a plastic pledge - by way of a Ninja Challenge.
We’ll be asking contemporaries in North America, the Middle East, China, Philippines, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the UK and Ireland to choose a target pledge over a week or a month to reduce our plastic usage. The different belt levels include:
- Red Belt Ninja:
- To give up the 'big four' – bags, bottles, disposable coffee cups, straws
- Orange Belt Ninja:
- The 'big four' plus non-recyclable food packaging, plastic cutlery, plastic cotton buds, microbeads
- Black Belt:
- All plastics
With CEO Stuart McLachlan and Chief Sustainability Officer Paul Crewe already becoming our first plastic ninjas, we’re hoping for a large company-wide sign up allowing us to make as big an impact as possible to help tackle this global problem.
Find out more on how businesses can take action on plastic and sustainability.