India recycles only 30% of 3.4 MT plastic waste generated annually

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India recycles only 30% of 3.4 MT plastic waste generated annually

According to a recently released report, India generates 3.4 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, but only 30% is recycled.

  • The above findings come out in a report titled ‘Innovation in Plastics, The Potential and Possibilities’ by Marico Innovation Foundation.
  • This report has been prepared in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science and Praxis Global Alliance.
  • This report examines the plastic waste management ecosystem in India. Through this test, the challenges and opportunities in this sector are identified. Also, the report places a special focus on business and technology innovations.

Key findings of report-

  • India produces 3.4 million tonnes of plastic waste in a year. Of this, only 30 per cent is recycled. The remaining plastic waste is dumped in landfill sites or water bodies.
  • Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu together contribute 38 percent of the total plastic waste generated in India.
  • 94% of recycled plastic waste in India is shredded into fine pieces using mechanical recycling methods.

Impact of plastic waste:

  • Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane are emitted;
  • The entire food chain gets contaminated due to the presence of microplastics;
  • There is a danger to animals, especially marine species, etc.


  • Landfills and waste incineration should be taxed in India to encourage recycling.
  • A ‘pay-as-you-throw’ system should be implemented. Under this, citizens pay per kilogram for bags of mixed waste.
  • The entire use life of plastic bags, from production and import to disposal, should be regulated.

Initiatives for Plastic Waste Management (PWM)-

  • The use of Single Use Plastic (SUP) products has been banned from July 2022 under the PWM Amendment Rules, 2021.
  • Guidelines on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on plastic packaging have been issued.
  • National Dashboard has been launched for the elimination of single use plastic.

Source – Business Standard

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