‘People’s Wise Consumption is 1st Step to Saving Environment’: Prime Minister Lee
Ceremony to mark 23rd anniversary of Environment Day takes place in Seoul on June 5. under theme of 2018 World Environment Day: ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon gives a speech at a ceremony to mark the 23rd anniversary of Environment Day at the former oil stockpile center, now a park, in Mapo-gu, Seoul on June 5.
A poster to publicize a ceremony to mark the 23rd anniversary of Environment Day at the former oil stockpile center in Mapo-gu, Seoul on June 5. (Photos: Environment Ministry)
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon urged people to do their part to save the environment by expanding consumption of eco-friendly products, reducing the use of disposable products and recycle.
Prime Minister Lee made the remarks while delivering a speech at a ceremony to mark the 23rd anniversary of Environment Day at the former oil stockpile center in Mapo-gu, Seoul on June 5.
Among 800 people on hand at the ceremony were Prime Minister Lee, Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung, lawmakers, civic body representatives and citizens. The theme of the 2018 World Environment Day, designated by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), is “Beat Plastic Pollution.” World Environment Day was established in 1972 to celebrate the United Nations Conference of the Human Environment held in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 5, the year which UNEP was created.
In Korea, Environment Day has been held on the day annually since 1996.
“People’s wise consumption is the first step to saving the environment,” Prime Minister Lee said.
Citing the theme of “World Environment Day: Beat Plastic Pollution,” Lee said plastic was once thought to be a blessing for human beings, but 150 years later, it has now become the worst culprit in destroying the environment.
Prime Minister Lee noted that Korea ranked 1st in terms of per capita annual plastic consumption, and plastic waste jumped 45.6 percent in the past five years, but less than half was recycled.
He warned of the seriousness of environmental issues creeping into Korean’s daily lives, like people having to use face masks due to fine dust, dangerous substances found in eggs, woes related to the collection of recycling, and areas polluted with radioactive substances.
He expressed regret that the government’s responses was insufficient despite of frequent misgivings and agonies people have suffered. Lee confirmed that the government is committed to coping with all woes in a systematic and precise fashion and he explained the policies the government is now implementing.
Environment Minister Kim said, “A ceremony to celebrate this year’s Environment Day will be a time to sympathize with plastic and other waste problems facing human being and explore alternatives to cope with them.”
On the occasion of June, Environment Month, diverse environment events, including environment purification campaigns, are being held across the nation. State ecological gardens and other ecological experience facilities gave a 50 percent discount in entry fee to visitors who toured them on Environment Day.
Dignitaries, including Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon joins Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung, attend an event to mark the 23rd anniversary of Environment Day.