The plastics recycling market in India is estimated to grow at a rate of 6.5% to attain a market size of US $53.72 billion by the end of 2023 says Vice President M. Venkaiaah Naidu.
M. Venkaiah Naidu also called for a mass media campaign to bring behavioural changes in how people dispose of plastic products. He emphasised that the problem is not with plastics, instead the problem lies in our attitude towards handling of plastics.
He stressed on the need to follow the best practices of plastics waste management and wanted people to be made aware of the importance of the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The solution is not to avoid plastics but to ensure that it is used responsibly and recycled properly, he said.
Maintaining that we are duty bound to leave a clean and green planet for our children, he appealed to everyone to commit to single use plastic items responsibly.
Naidu specifically appreciated the importance of plastics during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as they have been used extensively in manufacturing of medical protection equipment and PPE kits, which have played a significant role in preventing its spread. Polymeric materials are also being used widely to create medical tools and devices like insulin pens, IV tubes, implants and tissue engineering as well.
Underlining the importance of polymers in Indian economy, the Vice President said that 30,000 plus plastics processing units are employing over four million people across the country. He also mentioned that with an average national consumption of roughly 12 kilograms per capita per year, India ranks among the top five consumers of polymers in the world.
Addressing the students, faculty and staff of the Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering & Technology (CIPET) in Vijayawada, Naidu expressed concern about the environmental challenge posed by the durability and longevity of plastics. He appreciated CIPET for establishing a model Plastics Waste Management Centre at Guwahati which focuses on offering skill development training programmes in the areas of plastics recycling and waste management.
He praised CIPET for its contribution to national development through its diversified activities in the area of skilling programmes, technical support services, academics and R&D. The Vice President expressed his happiness that the CIPET has completed more than 50 major research projects and has filed 12 patents.
He also wanted the institute to focus on the development of eco-friendly products such as biodegradable plastics so as to balance the environment and development.
M. Srinivasa Rao, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Endowments; Kashinath Jha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers; Prof. (Dr) S. K. Naik, DG, CIPET; Chinta Shekhar, Center Head, CIPET- Vijayawada; and R. Rajendran, Principal Director, CIPET were among the key dignitaries present on the occasion.