What is the India Plastics Pact?
The India Plastics Pact is an ambitious, collaborative initiative that is bringing together businesses, governments, and NGOs to work towards achieving four time-bound targets to tackle the issue of plastic pollution. The India Plastics Pact’s vision is “a world where plastic is valued and doesn’t pollute the environment”
What are the Targets for the India Plastics Pact?
The India Plastics Pact’s targets to be achieved by 2030 are:
- Define a list of unnecessary or problematic plastic packaging and items and take measures to address them through redesign and innovation
- 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
- 50% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled
- 25% average recycled content across all plastic packaging
Why is the India Plastics Pact important?
It is clear that to tackle the mounting challenge of plastics pollution, solutions need to be designed for actors across the plastics value chain and must be multi-pronged, systemic, and large-scale. Government policies in conjunction with individual action can achieve a lot, but collective action of multiple stakeholders is required to unlock barriers of circularity. The India Plastics Pact provides such a platform to unite and galvanize stakeholders from across the plastics value chain and focuses on solutions and innovations, working collectively to address the challenges associated with managing plastic packaging waste.
What are the benefits of joining the Pact?
- Opportunity to demonstrate dynamic industry leadership, and to highlight your actions and achievements
- Access to expert, impartial advice on sustainable plastics
- Create new cross-value partnerships with businesses, NGOs, and governments to catalyse progress towards national India Plastics Pact targets
- Access to, and engagement with, other Plastics Pacts globally accelerating change and benefitting businesses
- Access to research, innovation, and technical guidance
- The opportunity to help shape the India Plastics Pact’s targets, Roadmap and Action Groups.
Who is eligible to join?
India Plastics Pact has membership of two types:
- Businesses that produce plastic/plastic packaging
- Brands, retailers, importers, manufacturers, wholesalers, suppliers, hospitality businesses selling products in plastic packaging
- Businesses that manage, collect, recycle and/or reprocess plastic waste
- Organisations and institutions that commit to supporting the delivery of the India Plastics Pact targets
- Including Regional, State, and Central Government, NGOs, sector associations and bodies, financial institutions, academia, researchers, technology providers, informal waste sector organisations, and Producer Responsibility Organisations
What is expected from stakeholders who join the Pact?
Every stakeholder has a role to play in supporting the Pact. Businesses that are interested in being a Member of the Pact will be expected to:
- embed the India Plastics Pact targets in their organisation
- contribute to the Collaborative Action Groups
- encourage the use of recycled plastic (in packaging and products) where appropriate
- share on-field experiences
- report annually on progress for monitoring
- pay membership dues annually
Supporters shall be expected to:
- embed the India Plastics Pact targets in the organisations where appropriate
- support the delivery of the Plastics Pact targets through the work of their organisation
- cascade the outputs and guidance from the India Plastics Pact to other stakeholders and citizens as appropriate
What does the actual work of the Pact look like?
The India Plastics Pact’s delivery programme aligns around the four ambitious, time-bound targets to focus action and resources based on the challenges in the India context. These targets will be accomplished through collaborative efforts that may focus on advancing the recyclability of packaging, increasing the use of recycled materials, and innovating sustainable and resource-efficient waste management models. The Pact’s Roadmap to 2030 identifies key milestones towards achieving the targets. Collaborative Action Groups (CAGs) have been formed to drive action towards each of the four targets, all members and supporters nominate themselves to the CAGs to work collaboratively. From time to time, the Pact also undertakes technical projects to strengthen information in the Indian context. Check out our Taking action page to learn what we are working on currently.
Is the India Plastics Pact linked with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation?
The India Plastics Pact’s vision and targets are aligned with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Initiative towards a circular economy. The India Plastics Pact is fully supported by WRAP, key partners of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, who are also providing operational and technical support to many Plastics Pacts globally.
In addition to the various Plastics Pacts, hundreds of companies operating in India, and globally, have signed up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. The combination of global and national momentum towards a circular economy for plastics is a powerful force for action.
How does the Pact relate to other initiatives in India?
Plastic pollution is a critical environmental issue as the demand for disposable plastic products overwhelm India’s capability to deal with them. But the plastic pollution crisis is not new and there are many important initiatives underway to help improve the plastics system in the country.
There are national and state policies, citizen awareness campaigns, individual companies carrying out initiatives and projects, technical innovations, etc. The India Plastics Pact is not intended to replicate the existing efforts underway in India but to accelerate and advance the great work already being done by bringing leading businesses and organisations together under one set of targets and one initiative – the India Plastics Pact.
The experience from other Plastics Pacts internationally, is that a Pact can have a direct and positive impact, through the powerful combination of:
- representation from the whole plastics value chain
- ambitious, collective targets addressing the full lifecycle of packaging
- tackling the major, systemic challenges in the plastics sector
- encompassing all polymers and formats
One of the goals of the India Plastics Pact is to identify action-focused initiatives that can become a part of the Pact delivery programme and fundraise to support the launch of new initiatives and pilots that will essentially help in meeting the agreed targets.
What problems will the India Plastics Pact help resolve?
Plastic pollution is a growing environmental concern, one that is rapidly turning into a crisis. The focus of action of the India Plastics Pact is to bring together key stakeholders from across the plastics value chain to implement practical solutions. These solutions will be shaped by the Members and Supporters, however, the range of issues that the India Plastics Pact will help address is likely to include:
- Improved business understanding and implementation of regulatory reform on plastic waste management
- Lack of end-of-life consideration for plastics in the product designing phase which limits their potential for reuse and recycling
- Lack of engagement and understanding of the informal waste sector by the plastic packaging producers and businesses
- Limited end markets and lower demand of recycled plastic material
- Providing the opportunity and stimulus for new business models and innovations in reuse and recycling to be piloted and trialed.
- Limited awareness among consumers on the benefits of plastics recycling and the role they can play
- More consistent on-pack labelling and communications on recycling
How can citizens engage with the India Plastics Pact?
Meeting the targets of the India Plastics Pact will require collective action, and this includes driving citizen engagement campaigns with the support of NGOs, research institutes and governmental bodies. Through the delivery of citizen engagement campaigns, interaction and partnerships, the India Plastics Pact will work towards educating and inspiring citizens to adopt more sustainable behaviours (such as recycling, reuse).
What is the process to evaluate and measure the success of the Pact?
Members will submit an annual report highlighting the progress made towards achieving the set targets. The annual reports submitted by Members will be kept confidential, but a cumulative report highlighting the progress of the Pact will be disclosed publicly.
How does the Pact align with the EPR guidelines?
The Pact’s targets are closely aligned with the targets set out in India’s EPR guidelines. While the EPR guidelines have set very ambitious targets, they do not outline how businesses can achieve them. This is where the Pact steps in. The Pact will assist members in meeting the EPR targets by providing the knowledge required through access to expert advice, research projects, technical guidance, and international best practices from countries where EPR is in various stages of implementation.