National Geographic partners with the Ministry for World Environment Day

National Geographic and the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Control have joined forces to support each other’s initiatives aimed at addressing the perils of single-use plastic. National Geographic has partnered with the Ministry for its campaign around the World Environment Day Programme, while the Ministry is supporting National Geographic’s ‘Planet or Plastic’ initiative.

Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year. Globally, we are consuming a million plastic bottles every minute! The main challenge in all of this consumption is the fact that unfortunately more than 40% of the plastic produced is used only once, and then discarded. To address this complex issue National Geographic has launched a multiyear global campaign - ‘Planet or Plastic’; which seeks to not only spread awareness, but also educate and inspire action against single-use plastic. 

Realizing that consumer education and action may not enough to bring about the change required, the 130 year old brand today calls upon various Industries to come together to support this cause, and has decided to lead by example. From the month of June onwards, the plastic wrapping of National Geographic Magazine in India, UK & US editions has been eliminated. This move will enable the brand to save more than 2.5 million single-use plastic bags every month. Additionally, the organization has pledged to reduce its usage of single-use plastic for all its production shoots in India, as well as across its offices in the country.

Endorsing National Geographic’s commitment, the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, along with Ms Swati Mohan, Business Head, National Geographic & FOX Networks Group – India, unveiled the first ever plastic free issue of the magazine during the State Environment Ministers’ Conference at the World Environment Day Programme on 4th June, 2018.

Lauding National Geographic’s initiative, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, said. “There are diverse environmental hazards associated with the accumulation of plastic waste and there are growing concerns about its effects on human health and our entire eco system. Therefore, how to reduce the use of Plastic and its by-products is one area which needs to be addressed and is a serious challenge facing entire humanity today. I am happy to see National Geographic’s commitment towards our ecosystem by setting an example for the industry to follow. I believe that there is a role for each citizen in this via appropriate use and disposal, particularly recycling; as well as for the industry by adopting green chemistry, and for us in the government by setting standards and targets so that we can actually manage to drive a social change. I urge everyone to join the crusade against plastic and all other environmental hazards. It is within the reach of each individual to adopt small changes in their way of life - which I term as Green Good Deeds - and to contribute towards a better environment. As a society, we have to move towards Green Good Behaviour. Our industry too has to execute its Green Social Responsibility without which we will be unable to meet this challenge that threatens our existence. I appeal to everyone to join this crusade and help to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste.”

Commenting on the initiative, Swati Mohan, Business Head, National Geographic and Fox Networks Group India says: “We, at National Geographic, take great pride in our 130 years of change-inspiring storytelling and are pleased to continue our efforts this World Environment Day with our ‘Planet or Plastic’ initiative, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change. In a country where more than 40% of plastic waste remains uncollected, it is critical to understand just how severe the continued use of single-use plastic could become for the sustainability of the ecosystem. With our efforts across production shoots, office spaces and magazine distribution on removing single-use plastic we should be able to reduce our plastic consumption by about 70%. Environmental stewardship is a joint responsibility of the whole industry and hence, we will continue to welcome many more partners and ideas to help drive this critical mission.”

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