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Jun 5, 2018

Celebrating World Environmental Day

“World Environment Day” was observed today under the theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution.’  Since 1974, the United Nations marked June fifth as World Environment Day to promote worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment. In light of this year’s theme, the UN called for people to reject single-use plastic items and warned about the growing levels of plastic waste that are becoming unmanageable, pointing out, quote, every year, more than eight million tons end up in the oceans, end quote.  Here in Belize, we have been observing the day for a little over five years – but this year’s theme hits home for Belize considering G.O.B.’s announcement to phase out the single use of plastics by April of next year. Today, Shanee Rhaburn of the Department of Environment shared the significance of this year’s focus on beating plastic pollution.

 

Shanee Gillett-Rhaburn

Shanee Gillett-Rhaburn, Environmental Technician, DoE

“World Environment Day started to be celebrated in Belize about six or seven years ago but for the reason that it raises awareness and action to protect our environment. And with that, every year the theme is different and so this year the theme is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution.’ The theme is very important here in Belize, as we are developing and we have a lot of villages and towns across the country and we use a lot of plastic. In our food and beverage sector, the number one time to go to is Styrofoam, plastics. It is cheaper and convenient so that is where we go. But the reason why it is hazardous to the environment and health is because when it is being burnt, all the chemicals that are released can cause diseases; imagine someone who suffers from asthma, what they would go through. So, it is important for us to be aware and educated and then make a better choice based on what we know.”

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