India becomes first Asian country to launch Plastics Pact

The India Plastics Pact officially launched at the annual sustainability summit of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), with the country becoming the first in Asia to join the initiative.

Plastic packagingLaunched on 3 September, the Pact aims to tackle plastic pollution in the country, bringing together businesses from across the Indian plastics value chain to move towards a circular plastics system that aims to keep the material in the economy, and out of the environment.

India generates 9.47 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, of which 40 per cent goes uncollected. 43 per cent of all plastics produced in the country are used for packaging, most of which is single-use.

The India Plastics Pact will set out to address this through direct actions across four 2030 targets – define a list of unnecessary or problematic plastic and take measures to address them through redesign and innovation; 100 per cent of plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable; 50 per cent of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled, and 25 per cent average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

A total of 27 businesses and supporting organisations have joined the 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.

The Pact has been developed as a collaboration between WRAP, WWF India, and the CII. The development received funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), with further capital to support delivery being secured from Stewart Investors.

Following the launch of the Pact in India, collaboration is set to continue between WRAP, the CII and WWF-India on four key actions – draw up a delivery roadmap; initiate ‘Action Groups’ to support the targets; scope out the reporting process to develop a baseline; drive recruitment.

The India Plastics Pact is the latest to join a growing list of Pacts, including initiatives in Europe, the US, Canada, South Africa and Chile.

Marcus Gover, WRAP CEO, 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.”

Arvind Wable, President of WWF India, also commented: "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 of CII, added: "Innovation, collaboration and voluntary commitments contextualised for India and led by Indian companies via the India Plastics Pact will help the transition to a circular economy for plastics."

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