International Plastic Bag Free Day 2021: History & Significance

New Delhi: The International Plastic Bag Free Day is observed on July 3 every year. This day is observed to create awareness about the threat caused by plastic pollution to the natural environment, be it land or marine life.

History

The campaign by Zero Waste Europe’s Bag Free World became a global initiative and July 3 was chosen as the day to encourage the use of eco-friendly products including paper and cloth bags and avoid the usage of single-use plastic bags.

People around the world celebrate the day by organizing beach clean campaigns, making resolutions to go plastic-free and spread awareness about the hazards of plastic pollution.

Closer to home, in India, the Sikkim government had passed the country’s first plastic-bag ban in 1998. India passed the first plastic-waste management law in September 1999 with the aim to restrict the use of plastic carry bags (thickness 20 µm or less). Despite several bans introduced since then, the situation remains grim across the country.

Significance

In a blog on the ZWE website by its Executive Director Joan Marc Simon said that the measures taken by the organisation have given them significant results. The plastic bags directive was enacted in 2015 by the EU. The aim of this directive was to take measures which could reduce the plastic consumption per person to 90 bags by 2018. It plans to bring down the consumption further down to 40 plastic bags per person for 2025.

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