India has become the first country in Asia to develop a Plastics Pact, launching a new initiative aimed at bringing together businesses at a national level to make commitment for development a circular system for plastics.
The India Plastics Pact (IPP) has been launched as a collaboration between WWF India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) following support from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and WRAP and endorsed by the British High Commission in India.
Last year, UKRI committed £250,000 of funding to enable WRAP to establish the IPP, engage the Indian Government and help develop the appropriate targets and priority work streams for India.
A total of 27 businesses and supporting organisations, including Amazon, Coca-Cola India, Godrej & Boyce and Mondelez India Foods, have signed up and made their commitment as founding members of the IPP.
The commitments aim to keep plastic packaging in the economy and out of the natural environment by developing a unified national framework for a circular economy.
The IPP targets for 2030 include defining a list of unnecessary or problematic plastic packaging and items and take measures to address them through redesign and innovation, ensuring 100% of plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable, 50% of plastic packaging is effectively recycled and 25% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.
India generates around 9.46 megatons of plastic waste every year, out of which 40% is not collected and around half of all plastics produced are used in packaging, most of which are single-use plastics.
Rebecca Fairbairn, Director of UKRI India: “Plastics pollution is a global issue and the opportunity to reorient plastics as a resource in the value chain is a global opportunity. Collaboration is key to unlocking this and the India Plastics Pact is testimony to India-UK research and innovation partnership to address key global issues.
“The India Plastics Pact is the first in Asia and part of a growing global movement. What is most exciting about the Plastics Pact is that it brings together governments, businesses, researchers and NGOs to create sustainable, unified, national frameworks for circular economies that work specifically for each country.
“In the UK, this has stimulated demand-led innovation to attain commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle the plastics in our environment. UKRI India is excited to support the India Plastics Pact and the innovative solutions it will develop for plastics pollution in India.”