Mauritius to wage war against plastic pollution

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) – Mauritian Acting President Mr Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory has called on the population to join hands to wage war against plastic pollution in a message on Tuesday night at the launch of activities marking World Environment Day 2018.

Mr Vyapoory recalled how each year more than eight million tons of plastic end up in the oceans, wreaking havoc on marine wildlife, fisheries and tourism, and costing at least $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems.

“Up to 80 per cent of all litter in our oceans is made of plastic,” he said.

In view of the severity of the situation, the Acting President appealed to the population to protect the environment for future generations.

“It is necessary to adopt more sustainable ways of living so as to reverse the trend and to change our mindset and way of life. The whole world is in the grips of climate change, and it is imperative to change our existing behaviour relating to the use of plastics,” he stated.

Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Mr Etienne Sinatambou urged Mauritians to make simple changes in their lifestyle to reduce excessive use of plastic. He added that “together we can build a healthier and more sustainable future if we reduce the use of plastic and rethink our consumption patterns”.

Mr Sinatambou said that with plastic making up 10 per cent of the total waste generated, half of it is disposable or single-use.

“This presents a major problem as it is non-renewable and its manufacture and destruction exposes individuals and environment to many toxins, including carcinogens,” he added.

Referring to statistics from the United Nations, Mr Sinatambou pointed out that at the rate items such as plastic bottles, bags and cups are being dumped after a single use, by 2050 oceans will carry more plastic than fish and an estimated 99 per cent of seabirds will have ingested plastic.

“Plastic waste is a risk to public health as it enters our food chain, creates congestion problems in drains, causing flooding, ends up in river beds and oceans, depleting ecosystems and marine biodiversity, and makes solid waste management more expensive as landfills and open incineration do not provide an acceptable solution for disposal,” the Minister said.

According to him, the Government encourages the population to develop healthier consumption behaviour and to reduce use of plastic. “The introduction of regulations to ban the sale and use of plastic is one such example, he said, while appealing to everyone to make a pledge to make Mauritius cleaner, greener, better and safer.
-0- PANA NA/MA 6June2018

06 Junho 2018 08:34:50

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