India endorses resolution for legally binding treaty by 2024 against plastic pollution


New Delhi: Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav has endorsed the resolution adopted by 175 nations during UNEA 5.2 meeting to create a “legal binding global treaty” against Plastic pollution and said, India has already taken resolute steps to address plastic pollution.

“175 nations endorse a resolution to #BeatPlasticPollution and forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024. Under the leadership of our PM Shri @NarendraModi  ji, India has already taken resolute steps to address plastic pollution,” he tweeted after the resolution adopted by 175 nations on Wednesday.

Yadav said, “India has embarked on the journey to end plastic pollution by taking sound and effective measures through EPR on plastic packaging as well as putting a ban on single-use plastic items having low utility and high littering potential.

On Wednesday, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEA 5.2) on adopted the resolution title “End Plastic Pollution: Towards an internationally legally binding instrument” at the conclusion of the three-day meeting in Nairobi.

The resolution, based on three initial draft resolutions from various nations, establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which will begin its work in 2022, with the ambition of completing a draft global legally binding agreement by the end of 2024.
“It is expected to present a legally binding instrument, which would reflect diverse alternatives to address the full lifecycle of plastics, the design of reusable and recyclable products and materials, and the need for enhanced international collaboration to facilitate access to technology, capacity building, and scientific and technical cooperation” the agency said.

Recently the Union government had notified Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) guidelines for plastic packaging.

The new rules classify plastics into four categories- category 1 will include rigid plastic packaging; category 2 will include flexible plastic packaging of a single layer or multilayer (more than one layer with different types of plastic), plastic sheets and covers made of plastic sheet, carry bags, plastic sachet or pouches.

Multi-layered plastic packaging (at least one layer of plastic and at least one layer of material other than plastic) will come under category 3 and plastic sheet or like used for packaging as well as carry bags made of compostable plastics fall under the category “The guidelines not only provide a framework to strengthen the circular economy of plastic packaging waste but also promote the development of new alternatives to plastics. They provide a roadmap for businesses to move towards sustainable plastic packaging,” Mr. Yadav said in the tweet.

To be implemented from July 1, the new regulations mandate recycling and reusing a certain percentage of plastic produced by manufacturers, importers and brand owners.

The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, mandate the generators of plastic waste to take steps to minimise it, ensure its segregated storage at source and hand it over to local bodies or agencies. The rules cast Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on producer, importer and brand owner for collection and recycling of plastic packaging waste.


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