Earth Day 2024: Calls for 60% plastic reduction by 2040

Jesuit Missions has backed the message behind this year’s Earth Day, recognising the need to drastically reduce the use of plastics to help save our planet.

Earth Day, which falls on 22 April each year, seeks to highlight the importance of environmental conservation and the desire for a more sustainable world.  

For 2024, the theme is ‘Planet vs Plastics’ and calls on everyone – from teachers to youth activists, to faith leaders – to think about the impact of plastic waste.

Ultimately, the team behind Earth Day wants to see a 60 per cent worldwide reduction in plastic usage by 2040.

It has put together a series of events, including talks, study sessions and rallies, which are being held online and in person across the globe.

A full list of these events can be found at, where there is also a host of materials to help educate and inform.

A coastal clean-up organised by Policy Forum Guyana

Paul Chitnis, Director of Jesuit Missions, said: “We see the damage plastics can do in some of the world’s poorest areas; affecting the lands, seas and wildlife that many people rely on for survival.

“Our partners continue to raise awareness of this issue, from community recycling programmes in Madagascar, to organised beach clean-ups in Guyana.

“Heeding the words of Pope Francis in Laudate Deum, it is important for us all to take swift action on the environment – including reducing plastic usage – or we could face ‘immensely grave consequences’.”

Main image: Unsplash/John Cameron

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