The Modi Government has adopted a six pronged approach to curb the single-use plastic, which has been used extensively in the packaging industry in the country. However, the lack of proper recycling facilities has turned this ubiquitous packaging commodity a nightmare for the environment as nearly 90 per cent plastic packaging is discarded and is dumped in the ground and water bodies and eventually makes its way into the food chain.
In order to deal with the problem, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set an ambitious target to completely phase out the single-use plastic by 2022. It has adopted six pronged strategies, popularly known as 6 Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, redesign and re-manufacture to curb the menace of single-use plastic.
According to some estimates, nearly 10 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated in the country every year and most of it is discarded and dumped in the land and water bodies. In order to deal with this problem, the Centre has notified Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
Under the new rules, the government has asked the generators of plastic waste to take steps to minimise the generation of plastic waste, stop littering plastic waste, and also to ensure segregated storage of waste at the source.
The new rules, that are based on the six principles of reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, redesign and re-manufacture also mandate the industries generating the plastic waste to handover the segregated waste to the local bodies or registered waste pickers and recyclers.
The environmental cost of single-use plastic waste at the global level has been estimated to be over $2 trillion. There are 60 countries in the world that have announced a ban on single-use plastics. However, in a country like India, where most of the recycling is done by unorganised sector, enforcement of new plastic management rules is not easy.