With one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India announced a “game-changing” decision to curb plastic pollution by eliminating single-use plastic bags by 2022. The country’s efforts coincide with this year’s World Environment Day theme, “Beat Plastic Pollution,” which was hosted in India on June 5.
“This has been the biggest, most resonant World Environment Day ever, thanks to the leadership of our global host India,” Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, said in the press release. “India has made a phenomenal commitment and displayed clear, decisive and global environmental leadership. This will inspire the world and ignite real change.”
The announcement, which was made by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, is a way to “achieve the India of our dreams.”
“There is a huge issue of waste management in India and everyone can see that; we went from train to Agra from Delhi and we saw,” Solheim said to IANS. “There was plastic all over the rails, that’s a problem.”
From the country side to the waters of India, plastic pollution is a visible problem throughout the country with a population of 1.3 billion.
The plastic phase-out is a way to combat marine litter, which is a major problem in India with more than 27557.78 U.S. tons of plastic waste generated every year and only 60 percent of it recycled, Vardhan quantified.
India also joined the United Nations’ Environment’s Clean Seas campaign, EcoWatch reported, therefore, the country is now combating plastic pollution on both a regional and national level.
“It is the duty of each one of us, to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. “The choices that we make today, will define our collective future. 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.”