This striking photo perfectly sums up World Environment Day 2018’s theme

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It was shot by a UAE-based photographer

Tuesday, June 5 was World Environment Day, and this year’s theme, set by the United Nations, was “beat plastic pollution”.

Many people around the world took the time to raise awareness yesterday, with one UAE-based photographer in particular perfectly capturing the growing problem of plastic pollution.

Shot by Thirumalai Ganesh Sheerapathi, his thought-provoking image titled ‘Planet or Plastic’ shows a young child lifting a wave as it laps the shoreline, revealing plastic bottles underneath.

The caption reads: “Let this not be the treasure we leave for our children. Social responsibility starts from our home. Dumping garbage in the ocean is affecting aquatic life which will affect us in the future. The child in the picture is uncovering the ugly truth that we are leaving the planet dirty for them to live in. Let’s say no to [d]isposable plastic items.”

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres echoed a very similar sentiment in a statement, as he urged all people to reject single-use plastic items, saying “every year, more than eight million tons end up in the oceans”

Sheerapathi’s photo clearly struck a chord online, as it went on to win second place in an international photography competition held by the Waterpedia website. Waterpedia is a free online platform for sharing images supporting the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations.

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Image: Waterpedia