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‘India among 12 nations responsible for 60% of mismanaged plastic waste’

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‘India among 12 nations responsible for 60% of mismanaged plastic waste’

plastic, waste, environment, plastic pollution

The report said that by April 2024, almost half of the world’s population will be living in areas where plastic waste has already exceeded the capacity to manage it. Photo: Shutterstock


India is among the twelve countries responsible for 60 percent of the planet’s mismanaged plastic waste though the fast-developing South Asian nation’s per capita plastic waste production is among the lowest in the world, according to a new report.


The Plastic Overshoot Day report by Swiss non-profit EA Earth Action also said global plastic waste generation has risen by 7.11 per cent since 2021. The world is estimated to have generated 220 million tons of plastic waste this year, 70 million tons of which will end up polluting the environment.


The report comes ahead of the fourth meeting of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) in Ottawa, Canada, as the world leaders attempt to develop a legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution.


“Twelve countries are responsible for 60 per cent of the world’s mismanaged plastic waste: China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, the United States and Turkey,” it said. Though the report classifies India as a “low-waste-producing” polluter due to its low per capita plastic waste production (8 kg per capita per year), it said the country’s expected mismanaged waste in 2024 will be 7.4 million tons, which is “very high”.


Still, India’s mismanaged plastic waste will be less than one-fifth of China and one-third of the US.


The report also claimed India is estimated to release an average of 3,91,879 tons of microplastics into the environment and 31,483 tons of chemical additives into waterways.


People living in Belgium are the top generators of plastic waste, with a yearly waste production of 147.7 kg per person. This is 16 times higher than in India, it said.


Oman tops the list of countries in terms of mismanaged plastic waste, with a projected 111 kg of mismanaged plastic per person in 2024. This is 30 times higher than Norway. India is in the bottom 12 countries.


The report said that by April 2024, almost half of the world’s population will be living in areas where plastic waste has already exceeded the capacity to manage it.


On September 5, it said, that the plastic waste produced worldwide will surpass the planet’s waste management systems and will be called “Plastic Overshoot Day”.


Each country has its own “Plastic Overshoot Day”, determined by the amount of plastic waste generated and the country’s capacity to manage it. India will reach its Plastic Overshoot Day on April 23, it said.


“The data is unequivocal: improvements in waste management capacity are outpaced by rising plastic production, making progress almost invisible,” Sarah Perreard, Co-CEO, at EA Earth Action & Plastic Footprint Network, said.


“The assumption that increased recycling and waste management capacity will solve the plastic crisis is flawed. Without aggressive reduction at the source, our struggle against plastic pollution will be a holding pattern at best,” Perreard said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 12 2024 | 5:31 PM IST

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