India consumes an estimated 16.5 million tonnes (1.6 million truckfull) of plastic annually according to a June 2018 report by PlastIndia Foundation. 43% of this is single-use packaging material which mostly end up in garbage heaps since only 20% of Plastic produced annually is recycled. It is now common knowledge that this plastic waste ends up clogging our waterways harming marine life and also pollutes our soil by leaching poisonous toxins.
At the UNEA (United Nations Environment Assembly) held in Nairobi, Kenya, in March 2019, India piloted a resolution on phasing out single-use plastic by 2025. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had said
“The choices that we make today will define our collective future. 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.”
In tandem with this, India has unveiled a campaign to tackle plastic pollution along its 4,660 miles of coastline and will seek to make 100 national monuments litter-free.
On this World Environment Day, it is upon each of us to ensure that material prosperity does not compromise our environment. Reducing usage, reusing materials and recycling disposables are imperative diktats that each one of us has to adhere, in order to make the 2025 deadline of eliminating plastic a reality.