Goa, Delhi lead India’s per capita production of plastic waste: CSE report

Just seven States generate two thirds of the country’s plastic waste

September 25, 2020 04:06 am | Updated 04:06 am IST - NEW DELHI:

A trolley loaded with plastic waste in New Delhi. Photo used for representation purpose only. File

A trolley loaded with plastic waste in New Delhi. Photo used for representation purpose only. File

Goa leads India in the per capita production of plastic waste in India at 61.2 gm per day, followed by Delhi and Chandigarh, said a report on the state of plastic waste by the Centre for Science and Environment released in Delhi on Thursday. Just seven States — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh — generate two thirds of the country’s plastic waste.

India’s national per capita plastic waste generation is 7.6 gm per day and the country, it is estimated, produces 3.3 trillion grams of plastic waste per year. These figures were based on numbers and estimates by the Central Pollution Control Board.

Plastic waste comprises around 6% of India’s solid waste generation of 55-65 million tonnes.

Almost 66% of plastic waste comprised of mixed waste — polybags, multilayer pouches used for packing food items sourced mainly from households and residential localities. These, according to the study, were plastic waste which could not be recycled.

A global material balance study on plastics points out that 79% of the total plastics produced in the world enters our environment as waste. Only 9% of the total plastic waste in the world is recycled.

“We had imagined that we had solved the problem of plastic waste through recycling it, or burying it, or shipping it out of our sight. But we were wrong. Plastic waste is everywhere today. It is in our faces. It is filling up our oceans and destroying marine life and even invading our food chain to get into our bodies. Our per capita use of plastics is growing — and as we become richer, we will end up generating more plastic waste,” Sunita Narain, CSE Director-General, said at a webinar at the release of the report.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India plans to eliminate the use of single use plastic and the government first committed to eliminating it by 2022 but then backtracked on the grounds that it would be too “disruptive” to the economy, the CSE report added.

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