Plastic Pollution: Where India Stand?
Nations come together to stop plastic pollution.
The most important step to prevent plastic pollution was passed at UNEA and considered as the most important treaty after the Paris agreement.
The foundation has been laid by United Nations Environment Assembly for notions to end plastic pollution from the planet. The decision was made with 175 states at Nairobi on 2 March with an aim “we will eliminate plastic pollution from our environment”. In today’s world, everything around us is being made of plastic. Plastic is harmful to the health of living creatures and most importantly harmful to the health of the planet Earth. The prevention of plastic pollution will lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases that will directly affect the climate. The most beautiful thing about the whole treaty is that nations recognize the threat of plastic and are interested to come together to eradicate the devil named “plastic” from the world. The resolution was are after 5 years of intense thinking by the delegates. The resolution will work in the right direction and guide the countries to follow the obligations present in the treaty, in addition, will provide financial help to the developing countries to implement the rules.
A resolution was passed by 175 countries at the UN Environment Assembly that addresses the full problem of plastic and its pollution. There are two key elements in the resolution. They are:
Legally binding Nature:
The parties to the treaty will be responsible go reducing plastic usage and increasing the recycling of used plastics by improving recycling infrastructures.
However, India always opposed the idea and wanted only voluntary measures along with an independent resolution that will divide the responsibility.
Lifecycle of plastics:
The treaty will handle the whole lifecycle of plastics from production to recycling.
United Nations acknowledged the fact that the growth of the economy is leading to the growth of plastic that resulted in the waste management system.
India’s policy landscape
Banning plastic or reduction in plastic pollution is the major role of India’s policy landscape. India was the first Country to propose solutions for plastic pollution at the UN Environment Assembly in 2019 but no one supported it. The plastic management policy of the government was always the bane for industrialists.
The first law on plastic waste was passed in India in September 1999 that aims to restrict the use of plastic bags and plastic packaging. After an amendment in 2003, there was a complete ban on the use of plastic materials in the small packets for storing, packing, and selling gutka, tobacco, and pan masala.
Swatch Bharat Abhiyan was launched because the 2011 rules were ineffective in fighting India’s plastic crisis. The rules directly emphasize manufacturers and brand owners but this rule was also got removed. The recent amendment was announced in February 2022 that aims to extend producer responsibility.
Problems faced by India
- The inefficiency of India’s law regarding waste management.
- Shifting of responsibility
- Growth of circular economy, plastic shave to be less toxic
- The process of plastic making is hazardous.
It was estimated that by 2050, there will be 12000 metric waste of plastic and India consumes about 16.5 million tonnes of plastic waste. Plastic waste of about 8 million tons is said to dispose of in oceans every year resulting in killing ocean wildlife. Thus, the world has a common problem but different responsibilities on ending the usage of plastics.
India has a severe plastic pollution problem and is trying to solve the problem. We can say that the plastic treaty will help India in creating a plastic waste-free future. India has its own power to decide its time and ways for reducing petrochemicals and plastic and until then it will focus solely on the collection, management, and diversion of plastic waste.
There is an increase in plastic pollution and a mere ban on its usage is not the perfect solution. It is not only the duty of government but also the duty of ours to protect our environment and to keep it clean for our generation to come. The government has to develop ways to prevent pollution to save public health, workers, and the environment. The remarkable step taken by United Nations will help in preventing plastic pollution and bind the nations to perform their duty responsibly.