If you are living with your Indian parents, you are most likely to have a large plastic bag stuffed with even smaller plastic bags stashed somewhere in your home, maybe in the kitchen, behind a bedroom door, or even beneath your bed. That is why plastic waste management is the need of the hour.
While plastic is ubiquitous in most Indian households, the Central Pollution Control Board estimates that India creates roughly 25,940 tons of plastic waste per day. Approximately 9.46 million tons of plastic waste per year.
Around 60% of this plastic waste (15,384 tons) ends up in recycling. While the remaining waste stays uncollected and littered in the environment. India is currently aiming to take a firm stance against the use of plastics and the pollution caused by them by prohibiting the sale and usage of single-use plastics (SUP). Single-Use plastic is designed for single usage before being discarded as waste.
Plastic Waste Management Amendment, 2021
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has introduced a new set of guidelines – Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021. That replaced the existing Plastic Waste Management Rule, 2016 (PWM Rules, 2016), amended in 2018.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in June 2018 that India will ban SUP by 2022.
The ban got its strength during the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in March 2019, where India was giving two resolutions, one on SUP and the other on Sustainable Nitrogen Management. This also helped in acknowledging the urgent need for the global community to focus on this critical problem and was also a significant step for India.
India engaged constructively and embarked on the journey to end plastic pollution by taking sound and effective measures.
Our country is striving hard to overcome the challenges that occur in plastic waste management. India sends a message of hope and optimism that humankind needs to not only take an active part in order to deal with the causes of climate change but also find effective solutions to reduce the threat to the environment.