7 June 18
“On this historic occasion we make a solemn pledge that we shall eliminate all single-use plastics from our beautiful country.”
The Indian government has pledged to ban all single-use plastics by 2022, in a move which has been welcomed by both the United Nations and grassroots groups.
The UN environment agency described the policy as “unprecedented”. It was announced during a World Environment Day summit hosted by the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi.
India was providing “global leadership” where the rest of the world was falling short, said UN Environment chief Erik Solheim. A new report from the agency highlighted more than 50 nations taking some action to tackle plastics, but added that much more needed to be done.
In some countries – India among them – rules exist but are not always enforced. In others, pledges have been criticised for not going far enough. Theresa May declared earlier this year that the UK would eliminate avoidable plastic waste – where it is “economically practical” to do so – by 2042.
Harsh Vardhan, the Indian environment minister, used the summit in New Delhi to announce “on a personal front” that he would give up single-use plastic in his own daily life.
And speaking for the government, he said: “On this historic occasion we make a solemn pledge that by 2022 we shall eliminate all single-use plastics from our beautiful country.” He described the policy as part of Mr Modi’s vision to create the “India of our dreams”.
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