Against plastic pollution: UNAMA kicks off #ZeroPlastic campaign in Kandahar

June 5 marks World Environment Day and this year’s worldwide theme under #BeatPlasticPollution is to highlight hazards of the plastic pollution which is imposing grave impacts on nature and human health.

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) announced in a tweet that the agency has launched a campaign under #ZeroPlastic that has kicked off in southern Kandahar province and will stretch to the agency’s other field offices across the country.

“Every day, the equivalent of over 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic is dumped into our oceans, rivers, and lakes. This #WorldEnvironmentDay is a call to #BeatPlasticPollution,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a tweet Monday.

“We must work as one to break our addiction to plastic, champion zero waste and build a circular economy.”

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a statement on May 26 that plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental issues facing the planet.

“Humanity produces over 430 million tonnes of plastic every year – two-thirds of which are short-lived products which soon become waste. This has devastating consequences for wildlife, ecosystems, human health, and the global economy.” Part of the statement reads.

UNEP stated that given the grave risk of plastic pollution, some progress has been made on the international level.

“A historic resolution passed last year at the United Nations Environment Assembly to end plastic pollution and agree on a legally binding agreement by the end of 2024. But there is much left to do, which will involve every section of society playing its part.” The UN agency noted in the statement.

A recent UNDP report about plastics and the circular economy shows that huge amounts of waste, especially plastic, are being dumped across Afghanistan from local communities and settlements. It indicates that the capacity of the municipality to collect waste is low.

According to the report, at least 300 tonnes of solid waste is produced daily in and around Kabul city, which is causing serious health and environmental damage.