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India Says YES to Beat Plastic Pollution


While Asia has become known for its plastic management problems, the region could also lead global effort to combat plastic pollution by utilizing accumulated know-how on waste management in some parts of the region (e.g. Japan, China, Republic of Korea and Singapore) and by taking advantage of high-level political commitments to address the problem (e.g. China and India). With the overall goal to assemble know-how of Asia to lead global bench-marking/ standards-setting effort to combat marine litter and plastic pollution, this project, “Promotion of counter measures against plastic litter in South East Asia and India” proposes: 1) to identify the sources and pathways of major plastic leakage in India and to foster local partnerships for leakage reduction, and 2) to establish a partnership base for assessment and monitoring of marine litter and plastic pollution in Asia, by networking with academic institutions and practitioners in Asia.

The project will seek 1) to identify the sources and pathways of major plastic leakage in India and to foster local partnerships for leakage reduction, 2) to promote a partnership to share the project outcome with other countries in Asia to be replicated.

  • The project sites and outputs (Activities) are as follows;

India (Mumbai and Ganges River Basin)

  • The output-1 will contribute to establish proper waste management system through awareness-raising activities in collaboration with provincial and local governments and NGOs in the selected communities suffering from serious issues such as municipal (plastic) waste litter and microplastic discharge from industries to the river (high population density area, active tourism area, etc.) upon identifying the sources and pathways of main plastic wastes.
  • The awareness-raising activities will include 1) organizing a seminar for provincial government officers, 2) supporting local governments and NGOs to initiate a plastic refuse and a river clean-up campaign and 3) collaborating with media (TV, radio and social media) to promote stop-plastic pollution campaign.

Sites identified under the project

Mumbai, India (coastal plastic debris)

Mumbai city, State capital of Maharashtra Province is the largest city in western India of which population is more than 12 million with its coastline of 653 km.

  • Waste collection system conducted by the local governments is vulnerable.
  • There are no accurate information and data to identify the source and pathway of the coastal plastic debris.
  • The project will seek to identify the sources and pathways of the coastal plastic debris and to establish a regular assessment system for it. The project will also promote the proper plastic waste management through awareness-raising activities for communities and tourism industries.

Agra, The Ganges River Basin midstream (selected sites are Haridwar/Rishikesh, Allahabad, and Agra)

The Yamuna River flowing through the Agra city with the Taj Mahal designated as a World Heritage Site joins a midstream of the Ganges River at Allahabad. More than 10 million tourists visit Agra of which population is about 1.6 million (statistic in 2017).

  • The project will identify the current situation of dumping and leakage of plastic wastes including microplastics to the Ganges river.

Overall summary of activities to be carried out under the project:

  • Desk review of studies and reports that are relevant to plastic pollution in India;
  • Exerts consultation on major plastic waste leakage sites and geo-referencing of the hotspots;
  • Identification of possible remedial measures for the hotspots through local stakeholders’ consultations;
  • Development and dissemination of a tailor-made set of outreach activities, i.e. local campaigns on plastic pollution and one seminar for national local policy-makers and leaders and waste managers.

Calendar of events on the “Promotion of Counter-Measures Against Plastic Litter in South East Asia and India”

For more information contact:

Shaila Sam

Communications Consultant | UN Environment Programme India