The report, titled 'NITI Aayog-UNDP Handbook on Sustainable Urban Plastic Waste Management', was released on October 11, 2021, by NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson Dr Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant, Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, Secretary Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Special Secretary Dr K. RajeswaraRao, and Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India.
The report has been jointly developed by UNDP India and NITI Aayog, in consultation with eminent experts and leading organizations in the domain of plastic waste. The discussion for the Handbook was initiated in February 2021. This was followed by over 20 virtual stakeholder consultations, including Urban Local Bodies, Recyclers, Corporates, Civil Society Organizations, Academia, managed by UNDP.
The format included expert interviews, focussed group discussions, and technical workshops covering 14 Indian cities and 4 South East Asian cities. The Handbook presents best practices and examples from cities in India and Southeast Asia that face similar infrastructure and plastic waste challenges, read the release.
Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog emphasised, "The Urban Local Bodies across the country face tremendous pressure to provide efficient waste management services in the midst of an unprecedented scale of urbanisation that India is witnessing. The country has leapfrogged in sanitation sector, and similarly, we need to create a massive Jan Andolanaround plastic waste management to achieve complete recycling of our waste."
He further added that "The handbook covers crucial components for sustainable urban plastic waste management including, technical models, recovery facilities, IEC and digitisation, and good governance."
Dr Rajeswara Rao, Special Secretary, NITI Aayog, said NITI Aayog has constituted 11 committees for bringing circular economy in various areas of waste management.
"With complete recycling of plastic waste followed by extraction of valuables and mixing it with virgin materials, the transition to a circular economy in the plastic waste sector will be completed."
He further added, "Social inclusion of informal workers is crucial for sustainable plastic waste management. Promoting entrepreneurial opportunities and development of waste pickers cooperatives are important initiatives for the formalisation of informal workers in the waste management sector."
R.P Gupta, Secretary, MoEFCC highlighted "Only about 9 per cent of the total plastic produced globally gets recycled, about 12 per cent is incinerated and energy is recovered, and rest about 79 per cent gets into land, water, and ocean and pollutes the environment." He further added "Phasing out single-use plastic is crucial and to the extent possible, plastic items for which alternatives are available needs to be abandoned. The handbook on Sustainable Urban Plastic Waste Management will play a major role in fulfilling the goal of reducing the use of plastic and increasing plastic waste recycling, and also ensuring that plastic waste is brought to minimal".
Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India said the Plastic Waste Management programme at UNDP promotes the collection, segregation and recycling of all types of plastic waste to protect our environment and create a circular economy for plastics.
"The programme also ensures the wellbeing and financial inclusion of waste pickers, one of the most critical stakeholders in the waste value chain."
She added, "The programme is aligned with the principles of Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0. We are happy to share our learnings in this Handbook and provide urban local bodies with replicable models. UNDP is committed and proud to partner with the Government of India, NITI Aayog, state governments and other development partners for this great initiative to ensure sustainable plastic waste management." (ANI)