Blog: Adding value to plastic waste through a multi-stakeholder approach
The India Plastics Pact adopts the global vision, and common definitions set out in the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and accelerates business innovation and work towards a set of ambitious collective targets. The India Plastics Pact targets have been developed to address the challenges in India and aim to transform the sector, bringing significant environmental, economic, and social benefits to India.
Ensuring the India Plastics Pact targets become a reality will take commitment and collective action: a profound paradigm shift involving rethinking and innovating the entire life cycle of plastic packaging. Every Member of the Pact will be required to initiate action toward the collective targets.
The four targets under the India Plastics Pact are:
- Define a list of unnecessary or problematic plastic packaging and items and take measures to address them through redesign and innovation
- 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable
- 50% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled
- 25% average recycled content across all plastic packaging
As the India Plastics Pact works towards the vision of a world where plastic is valued and doesn’t pollute the environment, planned focus activities for the first 100 days post the launch have been conceptualised by the Secretariat and will continue to evolve with inputs from all members and supporter organisations. Some of the activities include workshops and webinars by subject matter experts from within the Pact Network, setting up of collaborative action groups to advance solutions in support of the four target areas, and initiation of technical projects led by WRAP to build ‘mini-roadmaps’ on challenges specific to the Indian context. By the end of the first year of the Pact, a delivery roadmap will be defined to help achieve the long-term targets that will be guided by evidence-based decision-making and advance practical, science-based solutions for a circular plastics economy.
Businesses across the plastics value chain, including plastic producers, brands, retailers, and all other actors, need to step up, as do the government and individual citizens, to build a circular plastics economy. Policies such as Extended Producers’ Responsibility (EPR) should serve as a vehicle to unlock innovation, investment and practical action that supports government ambition through corporate action going beyond compliance through ambitious commitments. There is a need to forge substantial cross value public-private partnerships to stop plastic leakage into the environment with a strong emphasis on catalysing the transition to a circular economy. The India Plastics Pact (IPP) will mobilise a critical mass of Indian businesses to innovate and close the loop on plastics while also introducing more sustainable models into customer chains by adopting the Pact targets.
Being ubiquitous in modern life, effectively managing plastic and plastic waste is of paramount urgency. We need to reconfigure our lens and change how we can develop and implement measures to optimise consumption patterns, retain valuable materials in the economy, reduce wastage, increase reuse, and reinvent the plastics value chain. Now is the time to explore the possibilities to create a more sustainable future where we co-develop solutions to transition towards a circular economy for plastics effectively.
The India Plastics Pact is still recruiting and expanding. To know more about the India Plastics Pact, including the names of members and supporters, and to join please visit the Pact’s website. A short video on the India Plastics Pact is available on this link.
 WEF (2016). World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The new plastics economy: rethinking the future of plastics. World Economic Forum Geneva, Switzerland. Available at https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/the-new-plastics-economy-rethinking-the-future-of-plastics