GS Paper - 3 (Environment)

India is committed to address plastic pollution to reduce its adverse impact on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as well as human well-being, Environment Secretary Leena Nandan said at the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly on 1 March 2022. The assembly being held in Nairobi, India had piloted a resolution on addressing single-use plastic product pollution in the last UNEA in 2019.

What

  1. The government has recently notified the guidelines on Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) on plastic packaging under the new Plastic Waste Management Rules banning identified single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential.
  2. Proactive steps have been taken to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into policies, schemes and programmes of the government.
  3. Our sustainable development policies cover many sectors such as renewable energy, sustainable mobility, sustainable habitats and many others, India said.
  4. The progress towards the SDGs can be accelerated through strong global partnerships in accordance with agreements under multilateral environmental conventions.
  5. Our ministry has already brought out the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022, following the directions and vision of the prime minister to ban single-use plastic by 2022.
  6. According to the Environment ministry, three resolutions were put forth by member states -- Peru, Rwanda, Japan and India -- on plastic pollution.
  7. The two draft resolutions of Peru, Rwanda and Japan were based on the principle of a legally binding target, while the Indian draft resolution was based upon the principle of immediate collective voluntary action by countries.
  8. In order to allow for global action to take place, India agreed for setting up of an intergovernmental negotiating committee for a new international legally binding treaty, a ministry official said, adding that the Indian delegation is engaged constructively in the negotiations.