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6th United Nations Environmental Assembly

6th United Nations Environmental Assembly:

India had committed to phase out Single-Use Plastics (SUP) by 2022, three years later, while some progress has been made with the ban on selected SUP items, challenges persist.

  • According to a report launched during the 6th United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-6), the thriving street food sector across India depends heavily on single-use plastics.

 Key Highlights of the Report Released at UNEA-6 Regarding SUP:

  • Single-use plastics such as plates, bowls, cups, and containers are extensively used in India’s street food sector. Despite their affordability, these items contribute significantly to the country’s waste management challenge.
  • The findings reveal the reuse system offers a compelling business case with various benefits:
  • Both vendors and customers experience cost savings.
  • The system significantly reduces the amount of packaging material needed.
  • The report highlights a potential 21% return on investment with a payback period of 2-3 years.
  • Material choice, retention time, return rate, deposit amounts, and government incentives are crucial factors for optimizing the system’s effectiveness.

Single-Use plastic:

  • It refers to a “plastic item intended to be used once for the same purpose before being disposed of or recycled.”
  • Single-use plastic has among the highest shares of plastic manufactured and used from packaging of items to bottles (shampoo, detergents, cosmetics), polythene bags, face masks, coffee cups, cling film, trash bags, food packaging etc.
  • On the current trajectory of production, it has been projected that single-use plastic could account for 5-10% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.