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If you can not use it, refuse it

Since 1974, World Environment Day has been celebrated every June 5th. "The message of this Day is simple: reject disposable plastic. If you can not reuse it, refuse it. Together we can trace the path towards a cleaner and greener planet, "said Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the UN, in reference to this year's celebration.

World Environment Day is organized around a theme and serves to focus attention on a particular pressing issue. This year's theme, No Pollution by Plastic, appeals to the population around the world in favor of a planet without contamination by plastics. Each year 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans, threatening marine and human life, and destroying natural ecosystems. The objective is to raise awareness about the need to reduce the amount of plastic that is poured into our oceans. The celebration of this day aims to make us aware that we ourselves can change habits in our day to day to reduce the heavy burden of the contamination of plastics in our nature, in our wildlife and on our own health. While it is true that plastic has many valuable uses, we rely too much on single-use or disposable plastic and that has serious environmental consequences.

Some data to make visible those damages: in the last decade we produced more plastic than in all the last century; 50% of the plastic is single-use or disposable; every year we use 17 million barrels of oil to produce bottles of water; in 2016, 480,000 million plastic bottles were sold worldwide; plastic represents 10% of all the waste we produce.

The study "Plastics of a single use: a road map for sustainability", of UN Environment, is the first to evaluate national policies against plastics. There it is estimated that approximately 5 billion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. That's almost 10 million plastic bags per minute.

One of the key findings of the investigation is that government taxes and prohibitions - planned and properly applied - have been one of the most effective strategies to limit the excessive use of disposable plastic products.

On the other hand, citizens in our role as consumers are not exempt from liability and we can also assume behaviors that contribute to the reduction of this type of consumption. Therefore, to solve this problem we have to change our use and throw away habits and rethink the way in which we produce and consume.

Thus, you can reduce your plastic footprint enormously and your level of toxic blood in these measures: do not use plastic bags and bring your own bags when you go shopping; do not consume bottled water; avoid plastic containers; buy in bulk if you can and choose glass or metal when you have the option; do not use plastic to store or heat food; do not use plastic bottles; avoid plastic toys, especially soft ones with a strong odor; Avoid canned food, since the inside of metal cans has a plastic coating that contains endocrine disruptors.

The Environment Day in Río Gallegos

At the local level we are not exempt from this scourge. The impact of urban solid waste, especially the plastics that constitute a high percentage of them, is one of the main threats to the Río Gallegos wetlands, which include the ecosystem of the Río Gallegos estuary and the lagoons that make up the Urban Natural Reserves Sistem(SRNU) of the city, according to the cleaning and surveying of reservations made by Asociación Ambiente Sur.

The Association joined the celebration of the World Environment Day with a theater intervention for the children of Kindergarten No. 1, which involved the characters Limo (the sea scholarship), his friend Gustavo (the polychaete worm), and the Pajaróloga (ornithologist) that in the children's code communicated to the smallest, a sensitive public about these issues, about the SRNU and the importance of taking care of these protected sites that provide numerous environmental benefits to the city, grant the possibility of getting closer to the rich biodiversity that they sustain and also offer opportunities for entertainment and recreation.

Also, on June 5 was held at the Interpretation Center "Estuary River Gallegos" (CIERG) an interpretive-sensory tour called "Sensitize - us with the Reserve", in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Education of the Municipal Environmental Agency and that was attended by the Science Club of the Maria Auxiliadora School. The proposal was to approach the environment with all the senses, not only the visual, allowing a fuller connection with nature.

World Environment Day

Throughout the month of June, Ambiente Sur has programmed activities linked to increasing awareness of the importance, individually and collectively, of preserving our environment, including: opening an energy-sustainable office in CIERG; participation with a stand and environmental play in the Provincial Book Fair and guided tours for all public in the CIERG. All activities are free .

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