Single-use plastics, often also referred to as disposable plastics, are commonly used for plastic packaging and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These include, among other items, grocery bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery.
Plastic pollution (essentially caused by single-use plastics) has reached alarming proportions. One can see plastic pollution almost everywhere – land, rivers, and oceans. According to a recent estimate, as published in the report of UN Environment titled “Single-Use Plastics – A Roadmap for Sustainability”, released on 5th June, 2018(World Environment Day), 79% of the plastic waste ever produced now sits in landfills, dumps or in the environment, while about 12% has been incinerated and only about 9% has been recycled. The report also mentions that about 9 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced in the world so far. It means that about 7 to 8 billion tonnes of plastic waste now sit in landfills, dumps or in the environment. If current consumption patterns and waste management practices do not improve, by 2050 there will be about 12 billion tons of plastic litter in landfills and the natural environment. Most of the plastics, as we know, are not biodegradable and will take thousands of years to decompose in the environment. The above report further states, “what makes plastic so convenient in our day-to-day lives – it’s cheap – also makes it ubiquitous, resulting in one of our planet’s greatest environmental challenges. Our oceans have been used as a dumping ground, choking marine life and transforming some marine areas into a plastic soup. In cities around the world, plastic waste clogs drains, causing floods and breeding disease. Consumed by livestock, it also finds its way into the food chain.”
In India, about 9.92 kg of plastic waste is generated per capita per year. Total plastic waste generated in India is about 9.46 million tonnes per year (25,940 tonnes per day) – out of which 1.85 million tonnes is generated in 60 major cities. This amounts to roughly about 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste generation per day, out of which about 15,564 tonnes is collected and uncollected plastic waste is about 10,376 tonnes, which presumably remains in the environment as litter, unregulated dumps, and in oceans, etc. Thus, there is a serious problem of plastic pollution in the country, which needs urgent attention by one and all.
Inspired by a programme organised at the Central Park, Connaught Place, New Delhi to commemorate the World Environment Day, on 5th June, 2018 the theme of which was “Beat Plastic Pollution”, a group of likeminded persons led by Shri Anoop Kumar Srivastava, IAS (Retd.) decided to form an organisation to launch an intensive campaign against plastic pollution. Accordingly, they have formed a non-government organisation named “Foundation for Campaign Against Plastic Pollution”, which has been incorporated as a company under section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 on 19th February, 2019. The Foundation presently has 31 life members who are from various walks of life such as from civil services, journalists, lawyers, chartered accountants, other professionals, business persons, homemakers, etc. The vision, mission and objectives of the Foundation are at “About Us” page. The campaign has been launched with an awareness drive organised at Sarojini Nagar market, New Delhi on 27th April, 2019.
© 2019 Foundation for Campaign Against Plastic Pollution, Greater Noida, India