What is a Plastics Pact?

The India Plastics Pact is an ambitious, collaborative initiative that aims to bring together businesses, governments, and NGOs across the whole value chain to set time-bound commitments to reduce plastics from their value chains. 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 has four central targets which are:

  • Eliminate unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging through redesign and innovation
  • Ensure plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable
  • Increase the reuse, collection, and recycling of plastic packaging
  • Increase recycled content in plastic packaging

The targets are envisaged to be for 2030 with interim milestones. This reflects the scale of the challenge for India and allows for the necessary investments and reforms. The final wording and ambition for each target will be revealed at the launch in the coming months.

What are the benefits of becoming a member of the India Plastics 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 catalyze 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 the Pact?

India Plastics Pact has membership of two types:

Members

  • 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

Supporters

  • Organizations 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 organizations, and Producer Responsibility Organizations

What is expected from stakeholders who join and support the Pact?

Every stakeholder has a role to play in supporting the Pact. Companies that are interested in being a Member of the Pact will be expected to;  

  • embed the India Plastics Pact targets in their organization
  • contribute to working 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 organizations where appropriate
  • support the delivery of the Plastics Pact targets through the work of their organization
  • cascade the outputs and guidance from the India Plastics Pact to members/ and citizens as appropriate

* the proposed membership fees will be communicated after discussion.

How does the Pact relate to other initiatives in India?

The challenge of how to tackle plastics pollution is not new and there are many important initiatives underway to help improve the plastics system. These may be national or state policies, individual company campaigns or 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 organizations 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?

The focus of action of the India Plastics will be shaped by the founding members and supporters, however, the range of issues that the 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

Is the India Plastics Pact linked with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation?

The vision, targets, and ambition of the India Plastics Pact are aligned with the circular economy principles of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy.  WRAP collaborated with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to launch the first Plastics Pact in the UK in 2018, and since then has helped set up and /or support Plastics Pacts in many countries. WRAP is providing technical and operational support to the India Plastics Pact and thereby providing a link to the other 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.

 

WRAP and the India Plastics Pact are being supported with funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

What will the actual work of the Pact look like?

The India Plastics Pact delivery programme will align around four ambitious, time-bound targets to focus action and resources based on the challenges of the India plastic packaging sector. This shall 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. With the key support from the members, India Plastics Pact will develop a Roadmap to identify key milestones towards achieving the targets set. The Roadmap is expected to be published within the first year of the India Plastics Pact. Collaborative Action Groups would be formed with the representation of experienced professionals to drive action towards meeting the targets. The success rate defining factor will be the scalability of solutions across different sector and regions of India.

When is the India Plastics Pact officially launching? How can I get involved?

India Plastics Pact intends to launch in June/July 2021 with the official announcement of its targets and founding members and supporters. The initial Action Groups and Roadmap will begin shortly after launch. Companies can get involved by submitting their request online to become a Member or they can reach out to: vaggarwal@wwfindia.net, Nandini.kumar@cii.in