Indian manufacturers and brands don’t manage plastic waste adequately, flags CSE | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Plastic production has quadrupled over the last four decades and if this trend were to continue, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from plastics alone would reach 15% of the global carbon budget by 2050, said the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in its new report, released on Tuesday, that made a case for proper recycling of of its waste to save the planet.
Keeping in view the enormous challenge of plastic waste that pollutes air, water and soil, and also enters the food chain through animals carrying microplastics in their bodies, the report – The Plastic Life-Cycle – flags findings of a research paper published in Nature Climate Change, saying “if the plastic industry were a country, it would be the fifth largest GHG emitter on Earth”.
The report, released jointly by environment secretary Leena Nandan and Niti Ayog CEO Parameswaran Iyer, shows that India consumed 18.45 million metric tonne (MMT) of plastic in the year 2018-19 and 59% of this went into packaging — it means of all the petrochemicals produced in the country (29.1 MMT), more than 37% was used to manufacture plastics for packaging applications.
Noting the existing challenge of managing the plastic waste, the report reveals that India recycled a meagre 12% and burnt 20% of the 3.5 million tonnes of plastic waste it generated in 2019-20 whereas there is no information on the remaining 68% of plastic waste, which most likely ends up in dumpsites and landfills.
Broadly, the report flags that the plastic producers as well as major Indian brands cause plastic waste and pollution in the country in a big way. They manufacture large amounts of plastic which can’t be recycled, while brands do not recycle enough.
“We are given to understand that the problem of plastic is a waste management issue and not a material production issue because we can recycle it, burn and bury it, or ship it to other countries where it can be handled. But it is not that simple. We have crossed the last frontier on plastic with our current production and consumption patterns. Plastic has not gone away. Plastic that we produce on land is now ending up in our oceans, and from there and elsewhere, into our own bodies,” said Sunita Narain, director general, CSE.
Globally, the production of plastic between 2000 and 2015 increased by a whopping 79%. “The total mass of plastics on our planet is now twice the mass of all living mammals, and about 80% of all the plastics ever produced continues to remain in the environment,” said the CSE, referring to another study by the Stockholm Resilience Centre.





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