India surpasses global averages of plastic recycling rate: Piyush Goyal

INDIA – India’s plastic recycling average rate has surpassed the global average of 9% and that of some developed economies, according to the country’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

Highlighting the country’s recycling achievements, the minister said that India’s average stood at 13%.

The country’s domestic plastic sector has demonstrated significant progress in recent years, and has potential for further expansion, Goyal said.

The sector holds the potential for generating new business opportunities, creating jobs for the younger generation, and opening global prospects.

It is also expected to support the country’s government to grow the entire ecosystem of the plastic sector in the coming years.

Last year, the Indian government finalized two free trade agreements (FTAs) with Australia and the United Arab Emirates and is currently engaged in negotiations with multiple other countries.

The minister urged the plastic industry to extensively use these active FTAs to expand the market base and improve export potential.

The government says it aims to ensure quality and high standards in this sector, rejecting substandard production.

It now awaits industry suggestions to further align with global standards, pledging immediate implementation of those suggestions.

Goyal added that “quality does not require high cost. It can be attained at low cost, and it is good for industry, which helps it to expand the scale of operations, reduces waste and it also helps in reducing the cost of production” and “the industry should have the mindset to give the best to its consumers.”

Early this month, the Asian nation marked one year since it imposed a ban on the import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change adopted a two-pronged strategy to tackle unmanaged and littered plastic waste by placing a ban on single-use plastic items and effective implementation through extended producer responsibility on plastic packaging.

As is the trademark of governance under PM Modi, the strategy is being implemented using a whole-of-government approach, with steps being taken by concerned central ministries and state and local governments.

The single-use plastics ban is ambitious, covering 19 items, including disposable plastic thermocol cutlery and straws.

In addition, lightweight carry bags have been prohibited and the thickness of plastic carry bags was increased to 120 microns with effect from December 31, 2022.

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