iasparliament
June 08, 2018
12 days
186
1

Despite the fact that 18 Indian states have banned plastic use and the laws to regulate plastic use and recycling have been in place since 1999, India remains a major producer of plastic waste that ends up in the oceans. Critically examine what contributes to such situation and suggest measures to beat plastic pollution. (200 words)

Refer – Live mint

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IAS Parliament 10 days

KEY POINTS

·        Like most environmental laws, the missing key remains implementation.

·        The reasons cited are

1.      Lack of adequate infrastructure

2.      Absence of trained and adequate staff

3.      Overall lack of awareness

4.      Information asymmetry

5.      Wavering political will

Suggestions

·        Redesign and innovate – The most efficient way to deal with the pollution is to control the production and distribution of plastics.

·        The very nature of plastics has to be changed from being cheap and disposable to durable, reusable and fully recyclable.

·        Banning single-use bags and making consumers pay a significant amount for the more durable ones is a feasible solution.

·        Improve waste collection, sorting and reprocessing

·        Enforcing the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, which require segregation of waste, will retrieve materials and greatly reduce the burden on the environment.

·        For a country which generates more than five million tonnes of plastic waste per year, reliance on the informal sector for managing our plastic waste will not yield results.

·        Waste separation can be achieved in partnership with the community, and presents a major employment opportunity.

·        Scale up the adoption of reusable plastic packaging.

·        Establish a global plastics protocol.

·        Create viable markets for recycled plastics.

·        Put in place deposit schemes.

·        Establish clear regulatory frameworks for biodegradable plastics.

·        If only we had strong local bodies with trained staff, implementation would be so much better.

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