H E Mr Alexander Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, was present at the launch of the India Plastics Pact, the first in Asia, at CII’s 16th Sustainability Summit. The India Plastics Pact, a joint initiative between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and World Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF India), will bring together leading businesses at a national level to make commitments for building a circular system for plastics. The Pact envisions a world where plastic is valued and does not pollute the environment.
It is supported by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and WRAP, a global NGO based in the UK. WRAP provides operational and technical support to Plastics Pacts in Europe, the Americas, Australia and Africa and fully supports the Pact in India.
India generates 9.46 MT of plastic waste annually, of which 40% is not collected; about half of all plastics produced in the country are used in packaging, most of it is single-use in nature. Commitments made under the Pact aim to keep plastic packaging in the economy and out of the natural environment. Today 17 businesses including major FMCG brands, manufacturers, retailers, and recyclers have committed to the Pact as founding members, and ten have joined as supporting organisations.
At the core of all Plastics Pacts lie four ambitious, time-bound targets for reducing, innovating and re-imagining plastic packaging. The India Plastics Pact’s targets to be achieved by 2030 are:
1. Define a list of unnecessary or problematic plastic packaging and items and take measures to address them through redesign and innovation
2. 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable
3. 50% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled
4. 25% average recycled content across all plastic packaging
H.E Mr Alexander Ellis, the British High Commissioner to India, in this context, said that “Protecting the climate and environment is a key pillar of the 2030 Roadmap agreed by PMs Johnson and Modi, which sets out the UK and India’s shared ambition over the next decade. The UK is proud to be India’s biggest European research partner, with £400 million of joint investment in research and innovation since 2008. Through joint efforts by CII, WWF India, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), UK Research and Innovation, and members of the India Plastics Pact, this first of its kind initiative in Asia will complement India’s other bold initiatives in the renewables sector and efforts to limit single-use plastics.”
Other dignitaries present at the launch Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council and Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP.
The India Plastics Pact aims to empower businesses, governments and the entire plastics value chain to transition towards a circular economy for plastics in India. The Pact will stimulate innovative new business models to reduce the total amount of plastic packaging. It will also help build a stronger recycling system, ensuring that plastic packaging can be effectively recycled and made into new products, and back to packaging with the support of all stakeholders.
Activities immediately after the launch will focus on collectively identifying projects that can deliver the most significant impact in the long and short term. This could include identification of barriers to incorporation of recycled content in packaging, design of reusable packaging and removal/elimination of unnecessary plastics packaging.
Commenting on the Pact, Mr Jamshyd N Godrej, Past President, CII, said, “Innovation, collaboration and voluntary commitments contextualised for India and led by Indian companies will help the transition to a circular economy for plastics. The Plastics Pact model offers this solution. While this pact is already active in a number of other countries, I commend CII and WWF India for bringing this initiative to India".
“I am certain that the Founding Members and Supporter businesses and organizations present here will lead the way towards better use of plastics and create the large impact which will benefit all sections of society and industry in our country”, said Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.
Mr. 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.”
Marcus Gover, WRAP CEO, said, “The India Plastics Pact is about action on one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues and WRAP is delighted to be able to share our expertise with CII and WWF-India. This important new programme will drive forward coordinated action to deliver ambitious targets. It will transform the use of plastics across India, just as we are doing in the UK, Europe, US, Canada, South Africa and Chile. I look forward to working and then supporting the India Plastics Pact for years to come.’’
The Pact supports the business commitment component of the Un-plastic Collective ambitions, a platform co-partnered by UN Environment Programme-India, CII and WWF India in 2019 that seeks to minimise the externalities of plastics on the social and ecological health of the planet.
3 September 2021