International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies – “The Air We Share”

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies – “The Air We Share”

By fijivillage
Wednesday 07/09/2022
[Photo: Supplied]

As Fiji celebrates Constitution Day on 7 September, the day is also symbolic to environment and recycling activists as it marks International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, with this year’s theme as “The Air We Share”.

“Through our advocacy work on recycling and plastic pollution, we realize that there is a lack of realization that waste plastic, discarded irresponsibly, has a drastic impact on the air we breathe,” said WRFL Director/CEO and PRF Founder Amitesh Deo. With the recent United Nations General Assembly’s declaration that access to clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a universal human right, this year’s theme of “The Air We Share” is emblematic to the fact that plastic pollution is a shared problem and shared responsibility.

“Much of the plastic that does not make it to the recycling plant ends up in our rivers and ocean. Not only is this a danger to the animals and plants whose habitats have become aquatic garbage patches, but it also poses a threat to the climate, as plastic releases greenhouse gases as it slowly breaks down,” said Mr. Deo.

This means the pernicious effects of all this plastic pollution on the marine environment are particularly concerning. A plastic-choked and warming ocean will create a negative feedback loop where plant and animal life suffer, less carbon dioxide is absorbed and our ability to rein in climate change is further hampered.

“Open burning of waste is common in many parts of the world and is a major source of air pollution. Burning plastics releases a cocktail of poisonous chemicals that damage the health of the planet and the people exposed to the polluted air,” said Mr. Deo

WRFL and PRF with partners such as International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Department of Environment is currently working on several projects, including a soon to be announced community recycling pilot project, in an effort to raise awareness on waste plastic pollution and recycling as well as influence change in behavior and attitude towards waste in general.

“We encourage business-houses, organizations and individuals to talk to us about our recycling programs and start becoming more aware of the aspects of improper waste management on our environment, economy, health and life,” said Mr. Deo.

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