India sets goal to eliminate use of single-use plastics by 2020

INDIA – India has pledged to eliminate the use of single—use plastics by 2020 as part of the country’s new strategy to tackle the issue of plastic wastes and plastic pollution.

In addition to the commitment which was made on World Environment Day, the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi unveiled plans to introduce a campaign against marine litter and a pledge to make 100 national monuments litter-free.

According to the Guardian, Modi’s move, ‘the most ambitious yet of the global actions to combat plastic pollution’ aims to eliminate plastic from 1.3 billion people living in the fastest growing economy in the world.

“The choices that we make today will define our collective future,” said Modi.

“The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices. Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.”

A recent UN report highlighted more than 50 countries taking steps in tackling waste but the report said more need to be done as in some countries including India, rules exist but remains unimplemented while in others the initiatives have collapsed on criticism.

In the report, dozens of countries were highlighted to cut on plastic including a ban on plastic bags in Kenya, on Styrofoam in Sri Lanka and the use of biodegradable bags in China.

Earlier this year, UK’s prime minister Theresa May announced to eliminate avoidable plastic waste – where it is economically practical by 2042.

The UK also introduced a levy on single-use plastic bags together with a ban on microbeads in personal hygiene products.

Plastic waste has spiralled oceanic pollution thus accumulating in marine life, something that has attracted scientific research on the effects of microplastics on human life as they find their way into the food chain.

Recent studies have indicated the presence of microplastics in bottled water and human food around the world, with unknown implications for human health.

India is joining the world in combating plastic effects and according to Modi, the economic development of the country would allow it to tackle the issue “in a way that is sustainable and green”.

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