India Fails To Collect 10,376 Tonnes Of Plastic Everyday
India, a country with a population of 134 crores is the largest democracy in the world. It is pretty evident that with such a massive number, it is hard to put a ceiling on the waste generated. According to a report by Worldwatch Institute, India is among the top 10 countries producing the highest amount of municipal solid waste owing to rapid urbanisation and high consumption, reported the BusinessLine.
Municipal solid waste which comprises of organic waste, paper metals, glass, plastic, and other refuse are collected by municipal authorities mostly from homes, institutions, commercial establishments, and offices. The plastic waste is 6.92% of the total Municipal solid waste.
The Times Of India reported that India produces 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste every day. What is more alarming is the fact that nearly 40% of plastic waste is never collected. These uncollected plastics end up choking drainage and river systems, littering of the marine ecosystem, mistakenly ingested by stray animals, soil and water pollution, and open-air burning, contributing air pollution.
Six City’s Plastic waste more than 54 major cities
All these facts are available in the Centre’s recent letter to states and UTs on barring the use of single-use plastic which is not biodegradable and recyclable. According to data by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), one-sixth of the total plastic waste is generated by 60 major cities. Of these, waste generated by Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Delhi consists of more than 50% of the total contribution.
The CPCB had studied 60 major cities of India. It reported that these cities on a daily basis produce a total of 4,059 tonnes of plastic waste. The CPCB using the plastic waste generation data from the cities during 2010-2012, estimated the countrywide data on plastic waste. It found that 10,376 tonnes of 25,940 tonnes of plastic every day were left, uncollected.
Understanding the rampant growth of uncollected plastic waste, India had taken a voluntarily step in 2018 to eliminate the use of single-use plastic by 2022. On January 21, 2019, Union environment secretary, C K Mishra distributed standard guidelines with states and UTs and asked to take stringent steps to accomplish 2022 goal of phasing out single-use plastic.
Steps taken to reduce the use of single-use plastics
The ban on single-use plastics for some state came into effect since June 23, 2018. This ban prohibits the manufacture, usage, sale, transport, handling and storage of the products made from plastics and Thermocol etc. which generates non – biodegradable waste. After Maharashtra State brought the ban, Mumbai became the country’s largest city to implement a complete ban on single-use plastics.
It surely is an important step to lower down the use of plastics. However, the government needs to put an end on the import of plastic wastes in the country. Previously, the government had banned the import of plastic wastes, but due to loopholes, the foreign and domestic plastic waste traders are taking advantage of it.