Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2018 is beating plastic pollution. Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. The focus on the host country helps highlight the environmental challenges it faces, and supports the effort to address them. This year's host is India. CRTL wished to uphold the theme of this World Environment Day by making its own people aware of what Plastic Pollution is and what can they do to tackle it.
On invitation from CRTL, Dr. Arunabha Majumder, Chairman, Indian Water Works Association (IWWA) and Ex-Director-Professor & Head, Department of Sanitary Engineering, All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health, Kolkata delivered a popular talk on “Plastic Pollution Control”. Dr. Majumder explained that as scientist we welcome plastic in a sense that it replaces many materials like paper, cardboard, iron etc. which helps stopping degradation of the environment. But, it does not stop there. The alarming fact is in our unabated habit of generating wastes, we have produced more plastic waste in the last decade than we have in the last century. Whereas 8.3 billion metric tons of virgin plastics have been produced till date, 6.3 billion metric tons have gone into waste. It is spoiling our oceans, being consumed by the cattle population, it is going into landfills degrading the quality of the lands. Dr. Majumder, with his illuminating lecture insisted on 5Rs – overall plastic use may be Reduced, the single usage plastics should be Refused, as far as possible plastic items should be Reused, plastic materials should be Recycled and not only plastic wastes but all sorts of solid wastes must be segregated at source by organized sectors and removed to proper processing units.