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Beat Plastic Pollution Resolve by India

Beat Plastic Pollution Resolve by India

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  • GS 3 || Environment || Environment & Ecology || Pollution

Why in News?

  • On World Environment Day in 2018, India won global acclaim for its “Beat Plastic Pollution” resolve declared.

Beat Plastic Pollution

  • “Beat Plastic Pollution” is the theme for World Environment Day, 2018.
  • It is a call to action for all to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of the time.
  • The theme calls for making changes in everyday lives in order to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution.
  • Under the “Beat Plastic Pollution” resolve, India resolveded to eliminate single-use plastic by 2022. 

Developments

  • So far, 22 States and Union Territories have joined the fight, announcing a ban on single-use plastics including carry bags, cups, plates, cutlery, straws and thermocol products.
  • In states where firm action has been taken, positive results have followed.
  • In Bengaluru, the volume of plastic waste being collected dropped from about 2 tonnes a day to less than 100 kg.
  • Voluntary initiatives are having an impact in many States, as citizens reduce, reuse and sort their waste.

Drawbacks and Measures Needed

  • PackagingPlastics play a major role in several industries, notably in the automotive, pharmaceutical, health care and construction sectors.
  • But it is the fast moving consumer goods sector that uses large volumes of packaging, posing a higher order challenge.
  • Waste plastic from packaging of everything from food, cosmetics and groceries to goods delivered by online platforms remains unaddressed.
  • A paradigm shift in the manner in which waste is collected and handled by municipal authorities is essential to change this.
  • Governments must start charging the producers for their waste, which will lead to recovery and recycling.
  • Waste managementPlastic Waste Management Rules specifies that producers, importers and brand owners must adopt a collect-back system for the plastic they introduce into the environment.
  • Albeit the rules were introduced, but not much has been done to take the process forward.
  • State and local governments are unwilling to upgrade their waste management systems.
  • Working on the system is crucial to even measure the true scale of packaging waste.
  • Anomaly – Small producers of plastics face the ban, but more organised entities covered by the Extended Producer Responsibility clause continue with business as usual.
  • At the very least, local bodies should consult manufacturers or importers to assess the problem.
  • Cities and towns need competent municipal systems to achieve this.
  • All these call for urgent government action and the same resolve here as in imposing the ban.

Additional Info

  • Researchers estimate that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the early 1950s. About 60% of that plastic has ended up in either a landfill or the natural environment.