Earth Day 2018: Minister Seeruttun calls for change in mindset towards use of plastic

On the occasion of Earth Day 2018, Government’s goal is to end the single use of plastics, promote 100% recycling of plastics and alternatives to fossil fuel-based materials and also bring about changes in our behavior towards use of plastic.

This was the gist of the message of the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, who was speaking yesterday at the Royal College of Curepipe at the launching ceremony of activities marking Earth Day 2018. He urged the population to put an end to plastic pollution and adopt common practices such as choosing to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water, refusing single serving packaging and take away, and recycling plastic wastes.

The Minister recalled that the goal of Earth Day is not only about appreciating the uniqueness of our planet with its incredible biodiversity but also to create a conducive environment and enhance mutual respect for all human beings and other living creatures. He pointed out that to build a sustainable Mauritius, there is a need to change our daily habits and adopt good environmental practices. The population has to contribute its share towards a cleaner, greener and safer Mauritius for the well-being of the present and future generations, he said.

Speaking about the National Tree Planting campaign launched in primary and secondary schools in the context of Earth Day 2018, Mr Seeruttun pointed out that the initiative is in line with Government agenda for a cleaner, greener and safer Mauritius.

The National Tree Planting campaign, carried out with the collaboration of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, will focus on tree planting activities from 22 to 27 April 2018 in all primary and secondary schools across the island. The main objectives are to ensure a sustained adoption of a tree planting and nurturing culture by the young generation, enhance the knowledge of students on the importance of preserving the biodiversity, and provide a better environment by embellishing school premises.

According to the Minister, the concerted efforts and actions of one and all will eventually entail an improved aesthetic and visual landscape of the environment, increase in greenhouse gas capture leading to better air quality, increased protection of the biodiversity and promote the necessary environmental stewardship amongst the young generation and the civil society.

Other activities

In line with the theme for Earth Day2018, that is, End Plastic Pollution, a collection of plastic and PET bottles will be carried out from 22 to 29 April 2018, jointly with the Municipal Council of Curepipe and the inhabitants. The Council has put up, within its premises, a collecting point for plastic bottles.

On the same occasion the second edition of the booklet on medicinal plants Une Famille Une Plante which contains virtues of 29 medicinal plants and their specific use to naturally cure diseases was also launched.

Earth Day 2018

The theme chosen this year is ‘End Plastic Pollution’. It focuses on changing human attitude and behaviour towards the use of plastics and advocating a significant reduction in plastic pollution. Earth Day 2018 aims at reiterating the measures to be taken to protect the planet and the environment.

Currently, about 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages and other commodities for people all over the world. However, it is observed that 91% of plastic waste is not recycled. Plastic pollution is endangering the health of our population and wildlife worldwide.

The celebration of Earth Day was initiated in 1970 in the United States by Senator Gaylord Nelson to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet. As from 2009, the United Nations declared 22 April as International Earth Day and every year, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries participate in one of the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. Earth Day is considered as an awakening call for the protection of the planet and is a golden opportunity for humanity to develop Go Green Attitudes.

Source: Government of Mauritius