–President Ali urges Guyanese to target plastic pollution by making responsible decisions
IN observance of World Environment Day 2023 on Monday, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali urged Guyanese to act responsibly when disposing plastic waste in order to keep the environment clean and safe and to end plastic pollution.
His message was aligned with the theme of World Environment Day, “Solutions to Plastic Pollution.”
In a Facebook post, the Head of State said: “On this World Environment Day, I urge all Guyanese to act more responsibly in the manner in which they dispose of plastic waste. We all have a duty to keep our environment clean and safe. By acting responsibly, we can end plastic pollution.”
Specifically, he outlined ways in which Guyanese could contribute to ending plastic pollution by making informed, ethical and responsible choices such as reducing plastic usage, especially that of single-use plastics; promoting greater recycling, ensuring proper waste disposal, and ending littering.
President Ali himself, over the past year, has personally led efforts to enhance Guyana’s physical environment through national clean-up exercises.
“These non-partisan activities are intended to promote greater environmental health and sustainability. I encourage all Guyanese to come out and support these efforts. Simple choices, at the individual level, can have an immense impact,” he said,
The most recent campaign was held in May, aiming to rally the nation together and foster a sense of responsibility and pride in keeping the country clean, with various stakeholders and citizens actively participating.
The campaign has gained significant momentum and is making a tangible difference in communities across the country. The involvement of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), particularly the Coast Guard, highlights the commitment of military personnel to the goal of the campaign.
Commander David Shamsudeen, a Coast Guard Officer at the last clean-up campaign, emphasised the importance of setting an example and discouraging littering among citizens.
“We don’t want to condone littering in Guyana and I think we as military persons, want to set that example. We want to tell the nation that this is something that we should not condone. This is something that every Guyanese should get on board and try as much as possible to deal with this situation,” he said.
The Coast Guard has dedicated a team of officers to clean up specific areas, working to remove garbage and enhance the cleanliness of their surroundings.
Lieutenant Lucas Singh, Commanding Officer of the Maritime Law Enforcement Department, said: “We are doing our part as the Coast Guard to ensure that our environment is clean. We could instill some sort of sense of pride in the community and do our part by maintaining a healthy environment.”
He urged people to maintain the environment as the country continues to experience rapid development.
“What I would like to see is that cleanliness is maintained. And that people have this sense of pride that they don’t dump garbage; use the bins, and just maintain a healthy environment and our country looks good, as we develop,” Singh said.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, highlighted the government’s strong commitment to the national clean-up campaign.
Under his leadership, the committee responsible for planning and mobilisation has been actively engaging various sectors of society.
The campaign has witnessed widespread participation from the private sector, government institutions, and regional authorities. This collaborative approach ensures a comprehensive and significant clean-up exercise across the country.