From 1999 to 2019, over the course of nearly 20 years, we imported an average of 70,000 thousand metric tonnes of plastic waste annually, totaling a staggering 1,400,000 thousand metric tonnes.
The fate of this colossal amount is deeply concerning – some of it underwent processing, but the exact proportion remains elusive, leaving us uncertain about how much has ended up polluting our precious oceans, seas, and landfills.
The scale of the challenge demands urgent and comprehensive solutions.
I recently came across an intriguing aspect of sustainability that has prompted me to reflect on the concept of “plastic neutrality” and its implications on a global scale.
The growing concern about plastic pollution has led companies to adopt initiatives like “plastic neutrality” to address their plastic footprint.
However, it’s crucial to delve deeper into what this means, especially in a global context.
When a company claims to be “plastic neutral,” the focus often centers on its operations within a particular region, complying with the respective environmental regulations and waste management practices.
For instance, in India, the company XYZ might be managing its plastic waste according to local laws and pollution control board guidelines.
However, the complexity arises when we consider the broader picture.
Many companies operate across borders and may engage in the export of plastic waste to other countries, like India, for processing.
According to data from the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India imported approximately 91,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste in 2019 for recycling purposes.
In a truly comprehensive analysis of a company’s plastic neutrality, we must consider both its domestic waste management practices and its involvement in the global waste trade.
The figure below illustrates the flow of plastic waste from various countries to India for processing, showcasing the interconnectedness of this issue on a global scale.
It’s essential to examine where the plastic waste from imports is directed and how it aligns with the brand’s sustainability claims.
As individuals committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship, let us continue to question and probe into such initiatives.
By fostering discussions and promoting transparency, we can encourage businesses to embrace a holistic approach to plastic neutrality that truly exists Switcheko