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Ivory Coast to Host 'World Environment Day'

FILE: A Kenyan environment activist unclogs drainage ahead of World Environmental Day celebrations in Riruta, Nairobi. Taken June 4, 2021.

ABIDJAN - Ivory Coast announced Monday that it will host this year's World Environment Day on June 5 on the theme of "solutions to plastic pollution."

More than 150 countries will take part in UN-organized World Environment Day event, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Jean-Luc Assi, Ivory Coast's minister of environment and sustainable development, called plastic pollution "a menace to us all."

The minister said the Ivorian government is committed to being "a leading example in sustainable development".

Ivory Coast was among the 196 countries that signed the Paris Climate Accords in 2016, with the goal of maintaining global temperatures below two degrees Celsius.

In November 2014, the country banned the production, sale and use of plastic bags.

Shopkeepers in the commercial capital Abidjan protested, however, and the law remains rarely enforced.

Last year, 175 nations agreed to end plastic pollution by crafting a binding UN treaty, which could come into being as soon as the end of 2024.

More than 400 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide each year, half of it for single use, according to the UN Environment Program.