A circular economy for plastic

Source: The Hindu

Relevance: Dealing with plastic waste

Synopsis: The Plastic pact model to address plastic pollution is now being brought to India by CII and WWF India. An analysis of the plastic waste issue and solutions offered by plastic pact model.

Why plastic waste needs to be managed?

A 2019 report by the Center for International Environment Law suggest that by 2050 Greenhouse Gas emission from plastic could reach over 56 gigatonnes. Similarly, the report Closing the Plastics Circulatory gap by Google suggest that without a large scale intervention we will be mismanaging more than 7.7 billion metric tonnes of plastic waste globally in the next 20 years.

The solution for India

As much as 3.3 million metric tonnes of plastic waste was generated in India in 2018-19, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report 2018-19. This roughly translated to 9,200 tonnes a day (TPD).

The total municipal solid waste generation is 55-65 million tonnes; plastic waste is approximately 5-6 per cent of the total solid waste generated in the country.

Hence, India also needs a long terms solution for its plastic waste problem. And for India, the solution must be multi-pronged, systemic, and large scale, to create a visible impact.

Plastic pact model which is now implemented in number of countries such as UK, South Africa, Australia offers such a solution.

What is Plastic Pact Model?

The Plastics Pacts are business-led initiatives and transform the plastics packaging value chain for all formats and products. The Pacts bring together everyone from across the plastics value chain to implement practical solutions.

Aim: It aims to achieve 4 targets

  1. to eliminate unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging through redesign and innovation
  2. to ensure all plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable
  3. to increase the reuse, collection, and recycling of plastic packaging
  4. to increase recycled content in plastic packaging
Must Read: Single-use plastic pollution in India – Explained
Advantages of the Pact
  1. It is expected to boost demand for recycled content
  2. Increase investment in recycling infrastructure
  3. Creation of jobs directly as well as indirectly
  4. Formalisation of informal sector engaged in plastic waste collection
  5. It will support the Extended Producer Responsibility framework of the government and improve solid waste management as envisioned in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
  6. Will ensure access to expertise and knowledge from different Pacts worldwide
  7. This will lead to significant reduction of Green house gases
About India Plastic Pact

It focuses on innovation and solutions. It ensures accountability trough setting up of targets and data reporting. While the India Plastics Pact will be active
in India, it will link globally with other Plastics Pacts which is expected to benefit businesses especially MSME’s.

Terms to know:

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