MediawireNew Delhi [India], June 5: CDP, a global not-for-profit based in London and a platform that runs the largest disclosure platform for over 20,000 companies has in 2023 introduced a module to generate data of plastic use by businesses. The objective of doing so is to engage India Inc in assessing their plastic footprint. Questions on plastic, that are part of the water questionnaire are designed to identify the potential risks associated with the production and consumption of plastics, assessment and quantification of use of plastic in value chains and identify circularity potential. Questions also provide direction on environmental and health impacts associated with use and over-use.
"According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), about 3.5 million metric tonnes of plastic waste is generated in India annually. Out of this, 50 per cent of the total plastic waste produced is recycled while the rest of waste finds its way to open landfills. However, it is not clear whether this data is enough to give a comprehensive picture of plastic use, re-use and waste. Information on industry use of plastic and flow of plastic to water bodies is essential to beat plastic pollution. By including questions that allow for disclosures on plastic CDP hope to fill the data gap to drive plastic free business operations" says Prarthana Borah, India Director CDPSandeep Chandna, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tech Mahindra, says, "By committing to CDP, we aspire to accelerate Climate action by leading transparency in Sustainability disclosures through significant demonstrable action on climate change and water security. As a company with Purpose, we have adopted Sustainability as a 'way of life'. We realize the harmful impacts of Plastic towards Climate Change and Biodiversity as it threatens our ability to keep global temperature rise below 1.5C. We are committed towards protecting the environment and hence, we have discouraged the use of single use plastic at our campuses."CDP Disclosure on plastics comes at an opportune time when the Indian regulatory regime is fast evolving to abate plastic pollution particularly because the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) regime is under implementation in Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. According to the EPR guidelines, it is the responsibility of Producers, Importers and Brand-owners to ensure processing of their plastic packaging waste through recycling, re-use or end of life disposal. To further streamline the implementation process of EPR, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India (MoEFCC_GOI), has amended the Plastic Waste Management rules to ensure that Producers, Importers and Brand Owners (PIBOs) register through CPCB's online centralized portal for improving accountability, transparency in meeting EPR Obligations. The single pointdata repository for tracking guidelines related to implementation of EPR for plastic packaging will also strengthen the process for environmental compensation to be levied based upon polluter pays principle in case of non-fulfilment of EPR targets. This coupled with mandatory disclosure introduced by SEBI, that asks 1000 listed companies to disclose on plastics and other waste shows that the government of India is keen to address the issues of plastic pollution and industry must join hands to reduce plastic use.
Plastics have taken a dominant position in our day-to-day life. Plastic pollution is most visible in developing Asian and African nations, where garbage collection systems are challenging. The greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, use and disposal of conventional fossil fuel-based plastics is forecasted to grow to 19 per cent of the global carbon budget by 2040. Plastic waste is also a major contributor to the ocean pollution. Despite current efforts, it is estimated that 75 to 199 million tonnes of plastic are currently found in our oceans.
Given the increase in plastic pollution and the impact it has on the global environment the focus of World Environment Day, 2023 on abating plastic pollution comes at the right time. Reduction and abatement of plastic pollution requires a convergent effort of all the stakeholders including the policy makers, regulators, corporates and individuals. While for India, the enactment of EPR is a starting step towards achieving the larger objective of a plastic free nation, it is important that the business community who drives the production process considers plastic use and misuse and aims to reduce the plastic footprint. Proactive assessment of risks and opportunities that emerge from transitioning away from plastic can lead to new ways of operation and value chain engagement. CDP stands committed to support the corporates, cities, states and regions in their journey towards a plastic free business.
This year's WED theme with BeatPlasticPollution further highlights plastic pollution as a global challenge that demands immediate action. By recognizing the significance of beating plastic pollution as this year's theme, UNEP would like to encourage industry and society to drive change through transparent disclosures and measuring their environmental impact. Industries can become catalysts for meaningful transformation, leading the way in addressing and curbing plastic pollution says Atul Bagai, Head of Country Office, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)(Disclaimer: The above press release has been provided by Mediawire. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of the same)