India becomes first Asian country to announce Plastics Pact

A first Plastics Pact for Asia - a collaboration between WWF India and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), supported by WRAP and funded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)
India becomes first Asian country to announce Plastics Pact

Photo - Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash

The India Plastics Pact officially launched at the annual sustainability summit of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), held in New Delhi on Friday 3rd September. The Pact brings together leading businesses from across the Indian plastics value chain to tackle plastic pollution in the country by moving to a circular plastics system that aims to keeps the material in the economy and out of the environment.

The India Plastics Pact has been developed to collaborate between WRAP, WWF India, and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). UKRI has funded the development and further funding to support delivery has been secured from Stewart Investors.

The latest Pact is to join a growing list of Pacts that WRAP is helping to set up and support into delivery, pioneered by The UK Plastics Pact. These include Plastics pacts in Europe, the US, Canada, South Africa, and Chile – all working towards a shared vision of a world where plastic is valued and does not pollute the environment.

Marcus Gover, WRAP chief executive officer, said, "It is hugely significant to have such a strategically important force in the region and on the global stage on board with its own Plastics Pact. The potential environmental and economic benefits to be gleaned from achieving the Pact's ambitious goals are enormous for India. We have been able to bring all the learning and expertise we have amassed from supporting Plastics Pacts around the world to CII and WWF-India. We look forward to continuing working together to turn words into action and ending the scourge of plastic pollution for good."

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India generates 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, of which 40% goes uncollected, and approximately 43% of all plastics produced in the country are used for packaging, most of which is single-use. The India Plastics Pact will address this through direct action across four key 2030 targets:

  • Define a list of unnecessary or problematic plastic packaging and items and take measures to address them through redesign and innovation

  • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable

  • 50% of plastics packaging to be effectively recycled

  • 25% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

Twenty-seven businesses and supporting organizations joined the India Plastics Pact as founding members, including major FMCG brands, manufacturers, retailers, and recyclers such as Tata Consumer Products, Amazon, Hindustan Unilever, Coca Cola India, Mondelez, Godrej, Marico and ITC.

Arvind Wable, president, WWF India, said, "The India Plastics Pact provides a strong platform for Indian businesses to drive actionable, sustainable solutions and accelerate the transition toward a circular economy."

Seema Arora, deputy director-general, CII, "Innovation, collaboration and voluntary commitments contextualized for India and led by Indian companies via the India Plastics Pact will help the transition to a circular economy for plastics."

WRAP's international work on plastics covers more than 40 countries across all major continents. With support from the UK government, the private sector and philanthropic trusts, WRAP is working with national and international partners, including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, to tackle plastic pollution.

Following the launch of the Pact in India, WRAP will work with CII and WWF-India on the following key actions to

  • Draw up the delivery Roadmap

  • Initiate Action Groups to support the targets

  • Scope out the reporting process to develop a baseline

  • Drive recruitment

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