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World Environment Day commits to #BeatPlasticPollution and Monaco is perfectly in line with.

Every year we celebrate in a symbolic day our Planet Earth that must be kept liveable for the survival of all living beings. The World Environment Day (WED) occurs every 5th June pushing human communities worldwide to reflect on what concrete actions are needed to preserve ecosystems, precious treasure chests of biodiversity. Established since 1973, this anniversary commemorate the first United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Conference held in 1972 in Sweden, during which the Stockholm Declaration defined essential human rights and responsibilities in relation to the environment within twenty-six principles. The core mission of that summit, in fact, was to build a strong foundation to the safeguarding of natural environment through awareness campaigns among human beings. The following UN Resolutions addressed some key issues like ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification and global warming. Most communities and decision makers have responded to this call starting a journey in stages to change their habits towards more sustainable best practices.

Photo >> Abstract from the official video campaign to celebrate the 2023 World Environment Day #BeatPlasticPollution © WED UNEP

Today important steps have been taken but much remains to be done. This years' edition is foused on #BeatPlasticPollution identified as one of the highest risks to the environment. According to a recent annual statistics by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), entitled "Drowning into plastics", more than 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year at a global level, half of which is disposable while plastic recycling of only 10% of the total. This shows that we need a more effective communication and take-action initiatives capable to reach all levels of world society.

About 20% of plastic pollution goes directly to seas and oceans via inland rivers and lakes. It consists of an estimated amount of 19-23 million tonnes corresponding approximately to the weight of 2,200 Eiffel Towers, if it could be assembled together. In particular, plastic particules between 330 micrometres and 5 millimetres, the so called Microplastics, enter the daily food chain of more than 800 marine and coastal fauna species putting their health at risk, and therefore humans'. An estimate states that each person assumes in its body more than 50,000 plastic particles per year, alongside those that are inhaled. More reasons to accelerate the path to alternative measures thanks to the support of science, technology as well as the private and public sector working together.

🎥 >> Official Video of the 2023 edition of the World Environment Day hosted by Côte D'Ivoire (Africa) © WED UNEP

Another recent UNEP report, Turning off the Tap, reminds us how high the social and economic costs from plastic pollution are affecting the world population. A range that varies from 300 to 600 billion dollars per year that could be moderately decreased up to $ 4.5 trillion saved by 2040 if only we could change the business-as-usual scenario.

Everyone can play a pivotal role in turning this trend. On one hand, governments should engage themselves in promoting sustainable actions, redrafting regulations and investing in suitable infrastructure. On the other hand, business and industry should definitely say no to plastic-made production and packaging, encouraging alternative methods in the various stages of the production chain. However, the shift should be even more holistic, involving other fields and stakeholders. Finance should turn completely to the circular and blue economy while local decision makers could introduce incentives to boost startups and companies capable to foster more environmentally friendly behaviours. Last but not least, individuals are able to act as eco-communicators or human "driving forces" to accelerate the transition towards a reduced-use-of-plastic ecosystem.

Photo >> The new campaign of Green Tourism in Monaco designed by by Monegasque artist © Elizabeth Wessel

For a long time, the Principality of Monaco has been declaring unfair the excessive use of plastic, putting concrete measures into practice to achieve the zero single-use plastics by 2030 within the Prince's Government "Plan for the Prevention and Management of Waste" . And further steps have been taken earlier this year. Since the 1st January 2023, in fact, two new governmental measures entered into force to introduce the obligation to consume on-premises meals (in restaurants) by using reusable tableware. Furthermore, the paper printing of bills and receipts are not intended to be offered unless requested by the customer. This is added to a series of already existing additional rules that came into effect in 2021 and in 2022, being addressed to canteen owners, employers, take away consumers and 'meal deals' users. The state action aims at reducing the use of plastic where it is replaceable by easily usable alternatives. All that, by the will of the Sovereign Prince who is very concerned about the spillage of plastics in the Mediterranean waters.

Photo >> MaConsigne sustainable box and the mobile App © Benjamin Vergély / Manuel Vitali - Direction de la Communication

The innovative App MaConsigne and the homonymous project were launched in 2022 by the Monaco's Government with the specific aim of facilitating the application of the new regulation. The geolocalised device helps collecting information about business selling glass containers to be used to consume meals and where to return them for reuse after appropriate sanitation.

Photo >> The launching of the 2023 campaign 'Monaco Zero Mégot' at the Larvotto Promenade (5th June 2023) © Visit Monaco Mairie de Monaco & Gouvernement Princier

Starting from today (5th June 2023), "Monaco Zero Mégot" (Monaco Zero Cigarette ends) is launched again for the 2023 Summer Season. The initiative, in partnership whit the Mairie de Monaco (Monaco Municipality), the Société Monégasque d'Assainisemement - SMA and the Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority, is willing to raise awareness against pollution among Monegasque residents and visitors. Additional pocket ashtrays will be distributed by the official staff to strengthen the existing waste disposal system available throughout the Monegasque territory to keep it clean.

🎥 >> Official Video of the 2023 edition of the World Environment Day hosted by Côte D'Ivoire (Africa) © WED UNEP

To Know more about the World Environment Day please visit:


By Maurice Abbati

Springer International Publishing

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