New Delhi: Ahead of Valentine’s Day, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is launching a short, funny and thought provoking promotional film, ‘The Break-up’ which asks everyone around the world to break-up with single-use plastics, such as mineral water bottles and straws.
‘The Break-up’ is part of the Clean Seas campaign to address the global challenge of plastic pollution, which is choking our oceans and marine life. The film takes a lighter look at the issue of marine litter and calls for viewers to make a pledge to reduce their plastic use at cleanseas.org.
The Clean Seas is one of UN Environment’s most ambitious campaigns that aims to build a global movement, working with governments, industry and consumers, to urgently reduce the production and excessive use of plastic that is polluting the earth’s oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health.
India is super-charging this effort by volunteering to be the global host of the World Environment Day celebrations this year, on June 5. This year’s efforts will focus on plastic pollution. As the host nation, India will strive towards reducing plastic use, seek to stimulate private sector efforts to address plastic pollution and urge citizens to change their behaviour around waste management.
“UNEP in India is working closely with the Indian Government and there is recognition and commitment to addressing the damage plastic is having on the environment and health. Traditionally, India has never been dependent on plastic. We used to carry a jhola(cloth bag) to buy groceries, eat food on banana leaves and have tea in a chai kulhar. It’s time to go back to basics and revive our green parampara,” says Atul Bagai, Head, UN Environment Programme Country Office, India.
‘The Break-up’ film is a public engagement tool that aims to inspire behaviour change towards single-use plastics and potentially shift people’s engagement with the issue. In the film, Sandra realizes she has been in a toxic relationship for too long and decides it’s time for a break-up. What’s more, she’s found a new love.
“This Valentine’s Day, I urge you to give up the toxic relationship with plastics and find a new love this Valentine’s Day. We can all start by choosing a forever relationship with real love for cloth shopping bags and metal or glass water bottles, re-usable coffee mugs and saying no to straws. Breaking up with single use plastic can really help save our oceans and beat pollution,” says UN Environment Goodwill ambassador Dia Mirza and long-standing supporter of environmental conservation.
Worldwide reliance on disposable plastic packaging is overwhelming our planet. By 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish. Plastic is a material made to last forever, yet 33 percent of all plastic – water bottles, bags and straws – is used just once, often for a few minutes, and then thrown away.
‘The Break-up’ film aims to encourage greater awareness and understanding of the critical point which unsustainable plastic consumption rate has reached. It also seeks to mobilise action to reduce single-use plastic consumption in support of a world free of plastic pollution.
Some of these actions include: saying no to straws, carrying reusable bags, avoiding products with microbeads, using a refillable water bottle, choosing products with no or less plastic packaging, and bringing your own take-out containers.
So, this Valentine’s Day, let’s all break-up with single-use plastics and find a new love.