A roadmap to reduce the plastic waste in India released today by Dr. Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, Govt. of India. This event was held at the CSIR Science Centre, New Delhi on 6 December 2023. Dr. (Mrs) N. Kalaiselvi, Director General, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR, Mr. Philip Green, Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Dr. Atul Vaidya, Director, CSIR-NEERI, Dr Rita Dhodapkar, Lead Investigator, CSIR-NEERI, Mr Souvik Bhattacharjya, Lead Investigator, TERI and Ms Zeenat Niazi, Lead Investigator from Development Alternatives Group were also present on this occasion.
The roadmap released by the Hon’ble Minister in right terms is the “National Circular Economy Roadmap for Reduction of Plastic Waste in India”, prepared by leading research institutions from Australia and India, including CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Development Alternatives Group and CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency, ISF-UTS and UNSW. This roadmap aims at providing a way forward to all stakeholders towards the transition to circular plastics economy in India.
Dr. Jitendra Singh congratulated CSIR-NEERI, TERI, Development Alternatives Group and CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency, ISF-UTS, and UNSW, for developing the roadmap. This is a result of the government’s far-sighted vision to foster bilateral research and industry collaboration for reducing plastic waste, he added. He appreciated the outcome of the India-AustraliaComprehensive Strategic Partnership initiated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister in June 2020. He praised CSIR for taking-up waste to wealth projects for developing several key technologies for sustainable utilization of waste materials. The CSIR-CRRI technology facilitates the large-scale utilization of waste steel slag of steel plants and has proved very useful in effective disposal of about 19 million tonnes of steel slag generated in the country, he added. Dr. Jitendra Singh advised scientists to explore the use of plastic wastes as a raw material. He said that after earning Rs 1,162 crore from scrap disposal, including e-waste, during the special cleanliness drives, the government now plans to accelerate such cleanliness campaigns. Innovation, technology and behavior are very important to shape the future of waste management, he added.
Dr. (Mrs) N. Kalaiselvi, Director General, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR appreciated CSIR-NEERI for working in collaboration with CSIRO, Australia in the area of plastic waste management. We need more such collaborations to live further with plastics, she added. Dr. Kalaiselvi urged CSIR scientists to work for conversion of plastic waste into value-added products.
Mr. Philip Green, Australia’s High Commissioner to India said that science and research play an important role in formulation of a policy. Both Governments are committed for the benefit of our societies, he added. Mr. Green stated that without this roadmap, it is difficult to achieve plastic circular economy.
Dr. Atul N. Vaidya, Director, CSIR-NEERI said that vital insights provided in the Roadmap can serve as a logical framework for green innovations, enhancing recycling rate and strengthening policies. The timelines and alternatives provided in the Roadmap shall facilitate establishing a clear target for all the stakeholders to strengthen the efforts towards the circular economy transition, he said.
Highlighting the key features of “National Circular Economy Roadmap for Reduction of Plastic Waste in India”, Dr Rita Dhodapkar, Lead Investigator from CSIR-NEERI said that sharing expertise between Australia and India will drive advances in science and technology to extend the use of plastic materials. The roadmap provides opportunities to enable industries to achieve a zero plastic waste economy, she added. Dr. Dhodapkar speculated that the single use plastics will be reduced to 50% by 2035, there will be significant decrease in plastic consumption from 75 Mt to 56 Mt by 2035, if the “National Circular Economy Roadmap for Reduction of Plastic Waste in India” gets implemented.
Mr. Souvik Bhattacharjya, Lead Investigator from TERI proposed the vote of thanks.