Current Scenario of Plastic Waste Management in India: Way Forward in Turning Vision to Reality
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India pledges to combat plastic pollution as part of the World Environment Day, 2018. The theme of this paper is to comprehend the current scenario of Plastic Waste Management (PWM) in India, particularly in the context of achieving sustainable development goals 2030. It is estimated that out of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic produced globally as on date, 6.3 billion metric tons ends up as trash, whereas only 9% is recycled, 12% is incinerated and the rest 79% is accumulated in landfills. It is anticipated that global plastic waste totals to 4.9 billion tonnes and will reach 12 billion tonnes by 2050. India generates around 56 lakh tonnes of plastic waste annually and Delhi being the highest generator of plastic waste in India accounts for 9,600 mt per day among the top ten cities, followed by Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and few others. The paper presents a generic overview of plastic waste inventorization, composition and its effects on health and environment. It discusses about the legislations governing Plastic Waste Management and Handling Rules (2011, 2016 and 2018) in India, amendments, current status of implementation as well as opportunities and challenges in PWM. A small survey is carried out to thoroughly understand PWM in a community. Critical gaps between the legislations framed and their enforcement are identified. This paper also appraises the concept of 4R′s in PWM and their role in circular economy. Global initiatives on the ban of plastics, collection and recycling mechanisms of plastic waste are addressed and compared with the Indian scenario. Responsible production and consumption of plastics, emerging trends in PWM in relation to Integrated Waste Management (IWM) are highlighted. To conclude, the authors provide the best possible options and divergent solutions for tackling plastic wastes from Indian perspective towards turning vision to reality.
KeywordsPlastic waste management Inventorization Integrated waste management Circular economy
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