UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and WRAP have announced their collaboration on a project to develop and deliver a Plastics Pact in India.
Currently, India is working on various bold initiatives to reduce plastic and overcome waste management challenges. A Plastics Pact would complement and build on this work and provide a mechanism to bring together governments, industry, researchers and practitioners to develop ways of reducing the level of plastic waste entering the environment.
Despite the significant challenges of plastics pollution in Asia and SE Asia, there are no Plastics Pacts yet fully launched, and so a Plastics Pact in India could be the first in the whole Asia region and act as a beacon for other countries in the region to learn from and replicate.
The India Plastic Pact approach would build on the success of The UK Plastic Pact, which was launched in 2018 by WRAP as a collaborative initiative designed to create a circular economy for plastics. It brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain along with the UK government and NGOs to tackle plastic waste.
To make a significant change to the current plastics system in India, WRAP will be working with local partners and businesses to explore and agree targets and associated workstreams that meet the needs of India and develop a circular economy for plastics:
- Reduce problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative delivery models
- Increase supply of plastic packaging that is reusable, recyclable or compostable
- Increase volumes of plastic packaging that is effectively recycled or composted
- Increase average recycled content and/or renewable feedstock in plastic packaging
Working with WRAP, UKRI is well placed to facilitate the Pact, developing research and innovation partnerships overseas that will drive demand for business led innovation.
UKRI will engage with major global companies, explore novel ideas and solutions, and unlock increased investment in plastics innovation, committing £250K towards the project.
WRAP is currently in the process of confirming their partner in India to work with on developing an Indian Plastics Pact.
Paul Davidson, challenge director of the Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, said: “This is an exciting initiative that will showcase UK global leadership in combating the issue of plastic pollution. We look forward to working alongside WRAP to help our international partners replicate the successes of the UK’s Plastic Pact and put the latest and most innovative research and solutions into practice.”
Dr Richard Swannell, WRAP International Director said: “We are delighted to be working with UKRI on this exciting global initiative. We look forward to building on our expertise and knowledge gained through our work on The UK Plastics Pact and the launch of a number of international pacts including the new South African Plastics Pact. We will be working collaboratively with local partners in India to shape a pact that is tailored to local circumstances and needs, which will not only help to reduce the level of plastic waste entering the environment, but also help to drive further investment and growth in India and the circular economy.”