At least 300 million tonns of plastics are used world over every year and in India 13 million tonnes are used of which barely one per cent is recycled, said Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray.

Addressing the state level World Environment Day function here, Mr Routray stressed on the need to use alternative bio degradable material. If we continue to use plastics as we are doing today, by 2050 plastics will outnumber marine species in the sea, he remarked.

Plastics take 1000 years to get degraded in soil, he said while calling upon people to eschew use of the non-degradable material and save the planet.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik this year’s theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. It is one of the burning environmental challenges of our time. The foremost method of controlling this growing pollution is to create awareness among people and to ensure minimum use of plastics and if possible only recyclable or biodegradable plastics.

Several alternative materials such as plant products paper, glass etc. And eco-friendly items should be encouraged, he said. “ Needless to say that it is our obligation as responsible citizens to beat plastic pollution so as to allow our next generation to see a plastic free soil” said the CM.

He gave away 161 Prakruti Mitra and 169 Prakruti Bandhu Awardees for their contribution in the field of environment protection. ACS Forest & Environment Suresh Mohapatra, Director Environment Dr. Murugasen, Director Environment Studies Dr. Debatta also addressed the gathering.The Chief Minister also visited the Eco-Model Exhibition.