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India wages war on single-use plastic

June 6, 2018

The nation’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, has declared that the country will rid itself of all single-use plastic by 2022, as The Guardian reports.

In addition to this ambitious pledge, which “aims to drastically stem the flow of plastic from the 1.3 billion people living in the fastest growing economy in the world”, the country is also instituting a national marine litter action campaign.

“Environmental degradation hurts the poor and vulnerable the most,” Modi said. “It is the duty of each one of us to ensure that material prosperity does not compromise our environment.”

India’s commitment to abolishing the use of single-use plastics follows in the footsteps of the UK’s tax on items such as single-use plastic bags, the Sri Lankan ban on Styrofoam and the implementation of biodegradable bags in China.

“The choices that we make today will define our collective future,” said Modi on Tuesday. “The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices. Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.”

As well as freeing itself of single-use plastics over the next four years, and clearing up its coastlines, India will also be launching a programme “to measure how much plastic enters India’s coastal waters”.

The country has also vowed “to make 100 national monuments litter-free”, among them the iconic Taj Mahal.

The detrimental impact plastic waste can have on the environment has been demonstrated to great effect by CIG’s recent infographic campaign, examples of which can be found here, here and here.

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