+ The India Plastics Pact: Creating a circular economy for plastics in India – CII Blog
Launching on 3rd September 2021

The plastics problem

The benefits of plastic as a material are well recognized and indisputable. Their use has increased manifold over the last sixty years and is expected to double over the next 20 years. However, their presence and persistence in the oceans, terrestrial ecosystems and urban areas the world over has left all countries grappling with the problem of managing plastic waste.

Globally, and in India, plastic packaging is, and will remain the largest application of plastics. Currently, packaging represents three-fifths of the total volume of plastics consumed in India. Thus, a focus on plastic packaging through its life cycle beginning with design, and progressing right up to its disposal will have a positive impact on the economy, environment, and society.

The solution: Plastics Pact model

The Plastics Pacts model offers a platform to transform the plastics packaging value chain from linear to circular. All Pacts, active in different parts of the world (such as Chile, Poland, South Africa, UK, and USA), operate with the vision of “a world where plastic is valued and doesn’t pollute the environment”. The Pacts bring together stakeholders from across the plastics value chain to implement practical solutions. Each Plastics Pact is led by a local organisation and unites businesses, governments, NGOs and citizens behind an ambitious set of targets to:

  • Eliminate unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging through redesign and innovation
  • Ensure all plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable
  • Increase the reuse, collection, and recycling of plastic packaging
  • Increase recycled content in plastic packaging

The India Plastics Pact

The India Plastics Pact (IPP), the first in Asia, and 12th worldwide, is a collaboration between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and WWF India. Within CII, the initiative is anchored at the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development. It is supported by WRAP, a global NGO based in the UK and funded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). The Pact will be launched on 3rd September 2021 at CII’s annual flagship event, the 16th Sustainability Summit.

Tailored to the Indian context, the India Plastics Pact will provide multi-pronged, systemic, and large-scale solutions, to create a visible impact. The Pact will foster innovation, collaboration and healthy competition. It will,

  • direct investment to recycling infrastructure: to cater to increased demand for recycled content created by members of the Pact
  • provide guidance and support to businesses: to design packaging to be more recyclable or reusable, create demand for recycled content in packaging and products, and to take action on problematic plastic items through redesign and innovation
  • demonstrate regional leadership: as the first Asian Pact, it can catalyze action in the region
  • create jobs in the waste management sector (both formal and informal): increase in segregation, collection, and cleaning of plastics along with increased demand for recycled content will generate employment opportunities
  • reduce environmental impacts: increased recycling and reuse can reduce plastics leakage into the natural environment
  • lead to carbon savings: reduction in virgin plastics and increased recycling delivers significant carbon savings 
  • engage citizens: tocoordinate and galvanise action to encourage more sustainable lifestyle choices and implement better waste management practices

The high-profile launch of the India Plastics Pact at the Sustainability Summit on 3rd September will make public the targets of the Pact, its founding Members and Supporters. The India Plastics Pact will mobilize a critical mass of Indian businesses, who, by adopting the targets, will lead collaborative action for a circular economy for plastics in India.

To know more about the India Plastics Pact, please visit: https://www.indiaplasticspact.org/