After Nairobi in Kenya in 2021, Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire, will host the 50th World Environment Day on 5 June 2023. The event, which will focus on plastic pollution, will attempt to find sustainable solutions to this phenomenon, which is affecting human health and marine ecosystems in several countries, particularly in Africa.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year in the world, of which only 10% are recycled, while 23 million tonnes end up in waterways. It is in this context that industry, governments and civil society will meet in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 5 June 2023 for World Environment Day.
The theme of the 50th anniversary global meeting will be “sustainable solutions to plastic pollution”. “As the host country, we invite governments, private companies and civil society to come together to address plastic pollution, which is a visible threat with significant negative effects on every community in the world,” says Jean-Luc Assi, Ivory Coast’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development.
While the West African country has banned the use of plastic bags since 2014, the 5 June 2023 conference will allow the Ivorian authorities to forge partnerships with other international players such as the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which will be the guest of honour at this edition to present its technological innovations in sustainable waste management and the circular economy. “Together with the European community as a whole, we are fully committed to reducing the production and consumption of single-use plastic, which can and must be replaced by sustainable alternatives,” says Vivianne Heijnen, Dutch Minister of the Environment.
At the same time, the continent of Africa, which is affected by global warming, has its eyes on the future international agreement to end plastic pollution by 2024. This initiative, approved by 175 countries at the end of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) held in March 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya, deals specifically with the entire life cycle of plastics, including their production, use and disposal. According to UNEP, the entire plastic supply chain will be addressed in order to achieve a strong text on marine and land-based pollution.
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