Since its early beginnings in 1974, World Environment Day has developed into a global platform for raising environmental awareness and taking action on urgent issues ranging from global warming to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.

Many countries have participated over the years and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Climate Change (DEHCC) is ensuring that Gibraltar once again participates in this yearly United Nations event.

This year’s theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. It is a call for citizens to come together to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife and our own health. Around the world, 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute and every year we use up to 5 trillion disposable plastic bags. In total, 50% of the plastic we use is single-use. Unfortunately, a lot of this plastic ends up in the sea; enough to circle the Earth four times in one year and persisting for up to 1,000 years before it fully disintegrates.

As part of the global drive to spread the message on cutting down on single-use plastics, a variety of local schools will be performing at Commonwealth Park as from 09:30am on Tuesday 5th June. They will be accompanied by a number of activity-orientated stalls setup by the DEHCC, Government Agencies, Non-governmental organisations and local businesses hoping to make a real difference.

The event will be opened by Minister for the Environment, Prof. John Cortes and will run through until 3:30pm. Members of the public are also invited and encouraged to visit the stalls to see what we can do to #BeatPlasticPollution and combat one of the biggest environmental problems of our time.