India Pledges To Get Rid Of Single-Use Plastic By 2022, Here’s What You Can Do
India uses one-tenth of the plastic used in the United States every year. While the US consumes over 109 kg plastic every year this number stands at 11 kg in India with only some of the key cities being the highest consumers, says 2014-15 data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Although the numbers are small when compared to other countries, the situation is already reaching an alarming stage.
To overcome the threat that the country is facing, in a recent event held by the United Nations, WED-2018, held to celebrate World Environment Day, India pledged to eliminate single-use plastics by 2022. Under this, the country plans to abolish the single-use of plastic completely from all the 22 states. This move is likely to impact over 1.3 billion people living in the country, especially in cities with the highest consumption. These cities, according to a survey of 60 cities, are Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.
Single-use plastic products are those that have to be disposed or recycled after one use, including straws, plastic bags, coffee stirrers, beverage bottles and food packaging products. This makes up to half of the plastic products produced every year, which is close to 300 million tonnes. Of the total single-use plastic only 10 per cent is recyclable and the remaining is disposed.
Who is to be blamed?
After the government pledged the elimination of single-use plastic from the country by 2022, a report by green body Greenpeace India said that it is the corporate giants that are to be held accountable for a large portion of plastic consumption. According to Greenpeace, the government should come up with stricter laws to achieve its goal.
"The government must hold big corporations accountable for the plastic waste they produce. The companies need to drastically reduce their plastic production and distribution and stop passing the onus of dealing with their plastic waste onto the end consumer," Nandikesh Sivalingam, senior climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace India was quoted as saying in a PTIreport.
What can ‘you’ do?
As individuals who care about the environment there are small steps we all could take to help the government achieve its goal. There are certain steps you could take on a day-to-day basis to reduce the consumption of plastic.
*Bring home reusable bags for your daily grocery needs. Say no to plastic bags.
*Stop using disposable straws.
*Avoid buying packaged food covered in plastic.
*Stop using disposable plastic cutlery and kitchenware.
*Use wired hangers over plastic.