India To Be The First Asian Country to Launch a Plastics Pact

India to be the first Asian Country to launch a plastics pact
India generates 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste annually - REUTERS

WWF India, CII join hands to develop platform to promote a circular system for plastics

World-Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF India) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have joined hands to develop a platform to promote a circular system for plastics. The new platform called, the ‘India Plastic Pact,’ was launched by British High Commissioner to India, Alexander Ellis, on Friday.

“This will bring together prominent enterprises on a national level to make pledges toward the creation of a circular plastics system. The pact works to create a world where Plastic is respected and does not contaminate the environment,” a statement issued by WWF India said.

Plastic waste

India generates 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, of which 40 per cent is not collected; about half of all plastics produced in the country are used in packaging, most of it is single use in nature. Commitments made under the pact aim to keep plastic packaging in the economy and out of the natural environment. The statement mentioned 17 businesses including major FMCG brands, manufacturers, retailers and recyclers have committed to the pact as founding members, and nine have joined as supporting organisations.

The pact, like similar one, has time-bound targets for reducing, innovating and re-imagining plastic packaging. Targets to be achieved by 2030 include defining a list of unnecessary or problematic plastic packaging and items and take measures to address them through redesign and innovation. About 100 per cent of plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable, 50 per cent of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled and 25 per cent average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and WRAP are the pact here. Plastics pacts in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Africa get operational and technical support from WRAP, which also fully supports the pact in India.

“An initiative to reduce plastic waste in India has been launched by Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi. The UK is proud to be India’s biggest European research partner, with £400 million of joint investment since 2008. It will complement India’s other bold initiatives in the renewables sector and efforts to limit single-use plastics,” Ellis said.

Platform for businesses

Arvind Wable, President, WWF India, said the pact provides a strong platform for Indian businesses to drive actionable, sustainable solutions and accelerate the transition toward a circular economy.

Commenting on the pact, Jamshyd N Godrej, Past President, CII & WWF India, said, “Innovation, collaboration and voluntary commitments contextualised for India and led by Indian companies will help the transition to a circular economy for plastics. The Plastics Pact model offers this solution.”

According to Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP CEO, the pact aims to transform the use of plastics across India, just as it has in the UK, Europe, the US, Canada, South Africa and Chile.

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