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Delhi adds 690 tonnes plastic waste daily

May 09, 2023

NEW DELHI: A new report titled ‘State of India’s Environment 2022’ released by Centre for Science and Environment says Delhi generates 689.8 tonnes of plastic waste daily — the highest among India’s metropolitan cities. The NGO analysed data from the Central Pollution Control Board and found the country generated 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste every day.According to the report, Kolkata and Chennai occupy the second and third spot among metropolitan cities for daily plastic waste generation with 429.5 TPD and 429.4 TPD, respectively.Explaining why Delhi generates the biggest volume of plastic waste among the metros, Atin Biswas, programme director, municipal solid waste unit, CSE, said, “The main reason is population density. Delhi’s population has risen over 200% between 1951 and 2001, according to data sourced from NCR Planning Board, government of India. Besides, the municipal solid waste is disposed of with hardly any segregation."Siddharth Ghanshyam Singh, deputy programme manager, municipal solid waste unit, CSE, said the data on plastic waste generation in metropolitan cities was compiled after analysing CPCB’s latest report published in 2021 pertaining to 2019-20. Singh said, “Waste segregation in Delhi is not as good as in certain pockets of other metropolitan cities. The level of awareness is higher among residents in Mumbai and Bengaluru.”According to the report, India produced 17 million tonnes of plastic in 2018-19 and consumed 18.5 million tonnes in the same period as per industry estimates. “In the last 28 years, our plastic consumption has increased by more than 20 times. As per the industry, the country’s per capita plastic consumption was 13.6kg in 2018-19. With the pandemic prolonging its stay, our per capita plastic consumption is set to witness considerable growth due to the increased use of plastic and single-use products,” said the report. The report said that going by India’s plastic consumption of 18. 5 million tonnes in 2018-19, close to 11 million tonnes (60%) was single-use plastic used primarily by the packaging sector, of which 3.1 million tonnes was taken care of due to its rigid nature and high monetary value and recyclability. The remaining 7.8 million tonnes of plastic waste was what caused the ecological problem and this volume is what needs to be focused on, the report said.The central government has banned 19 single-use plastic items from July 1, including plastic sticks used in balloons, flags, candies, ice cream and ear buds. Also prohibited is thermocol used for decoration, items such as plates, cups, glasses and cutlery, wrapping and packing films used in sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, stirrers and plastic banners less than 100 microns in thickness.In its recommendations, the report suggested a uniformity in guidelines on single-use plastic across the states and Union territories. It emphasised that there was a need to push the producers, importers and brand owners (PIBOs) to invest in R&D collectively and come up with sustainable packaging and alternatives to single-use plastic. It also suggested implementation of extended producer responsibility, to not just collect and recycle plastic waste, but also reduce use of plastics in market products.

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