By Tatenda Mqetu
Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) – Zimbabwe Chapter was the only faith based environmental organization that exhibited at the World Environment Day (WED) commemorations on the 5th of June 2023 at Harare Exhibition Park under the theme #BeatPlasticPollution with the notion of reducing plastic consumption and promoting sustainable alternatives.
Government officials, environmental organizations, students, citizens, media and other stakeholders had an opportunity to visit the CYNESA stand as they joined the rest of the World in commemorating WED.
Plastic pollution directly affects biodiversity and climate change as it disrupts marine food chains in aquatic environments causing the death of marine species, this then leads to microplastic contamination of freshwater and terrestrial environments which has various health problems.
Moreso plastics clog storm drains causing flash flooding during heavy rains which has been experienced in various cities of Zimbabwe.
World leaders are currently negotiating the Plastic Pollution Treaty which aims at creating legally binding obligations for states to have legislation that addresses the full lifecycle of plastics, including plastic production, design, and disposal, innovative solutions, products, and materials.
Coincidentally the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) recently encouraged the world leaders to set up international legally binding instruments.
World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June and encourages awareness and action for the protection of the environment whilst being supported by many non-governmental organizations, businesses, government entities, and represents the primary United Nations outreach day supporting the environment.