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UNGA president praises India’s war on plastic pollution

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Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the president of the United Nations General Assembly, addresses a news conference on Friday, March 8, 2019, at the UN headquarters, (Photo: UN/IANS) by .
Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the president of the United Nations General Assembly, addresses a news conference

General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces has praised India’s war on plastic pollution…writes ARUL LOUIS

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actress Ashanti speaks to reporters at the United Nations on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (Photo: UN/IANS) by .
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actress Ashanti speaks to reporters at the United Nations

Speaking to reporters on the problem of plastic pollution choking the oceans and efforts to combat it, she singled out India for its efforts.

“Let me just mention and praise India for its commitment”, she said.

India pledged last year to eliminate all single-use plastic by 2022. The metro cities of Delhi and Mumbai and Tamil Nadu state have banned various types of single-use plastics.

It is estimated that 90 per cent of plastics ending up in the oceans come from 10 rivers, among them the Ganges, which is ranked as the sixth biggest polluter.

Espinosa said, “The challenge of plastics is one that spans the entire globe, every region, every ocean, every environment is impacted. We must work on this together”.

She has made the war on single-use plastics a priority of her presidency and launched her campaign against it last December.

To bring the message to a wider audience, especially the young, she announced a festival against plastic pollution,”Play it Out”, in Antigua in June.

The concert with the theme of “Play it Out 2 Phase it Out” is to be streamed online by the UN TV and headlined by Ashanti, a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actress along with Machel Montano, a Soca musician.

“This concert is about raising awareness, it’s about educating people to the seriousness of the situation,” Ashanti said at the news conference. “We have all seen the images of turtles choking on straws, or birds wrapped in plastic, and it’s devastating. But these images, while emotional, don’t capture how massive this problem really is.”

About 15 million tonnes of plastic litter pollute the oceans every year, according to some calculations.

“It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea,” Espinosa said.