A highly dynamic economy and increasing annual growth rates in India have resulted in the reduction of poverty rates across the country. Despite this favourable trend, increased consumption has also resulted in growing amounts of municipal solid waste in the country. Particularly plastic waste has become a severe problem in many Indian cities as it is often littered, openly dumped and burnt or otherwise inadequately managed. In recent years, the Indian government has declared solid waste management a national priority and has taken far-reaching steps to improve collection, treatment and disposal through a number of government measures. Although various state-sponsored investment programmes and policies seek to guide the uptake of the Plastic Waste Management Rules released in 2016 and amended in 2020, local capacities to implement and enforce the rules are insufficient and awareness among governmental and non-governmental stakeholders is still too low as to tackle the full extent of mismanaged plastics on land and on water in India.
For this reason, the BMU funded project “Circular Economy Solutions Preventing Marine Litter in Ecosystems (CES)”, aims at avoiding marine litter in India. To further increase awareness on plastic pollution, the project focuses on the demonstration of technological approaches to track and monitor litter in marine ecosystems in India and support the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in collaboration with the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The project primarily targets the three states Uttar Pradesh, Kerala as well as Tamil Nadu and foresees a central role for the private sector, in particular producers and waste management companies (i.e. domestic manufacturers, importers and recycling industries) and Producer Responsibility Organisations that are essential for EPR implementation.
As part of this project, adelphi is engaged in the development of a toolkit for practitioners on plastic waste in India. The toolkit will serve as guidance material for a 1-2 day training of local NGOs, admin staff of State Pollution Control Boards and State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) as well as functionaries of municipalities (responsible for the integration of the informal sector in plastic waste management) and at village level. The toolkit will facilitate the trainings as part of the capacity building and awareness initiative of the CES project in its three target states. As such, it shall disseminate a common understanding on objectives and intended activities of the CES project among training participants and ensure an alignment of definitions as well as foci of the project among stakeholders including a broader comprehension of Circular Economy concepts.