Waste Management – SWM Rules, EWM Rules, etc

A circular economy for plastic


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Plastics Pact

Mains level : Paper 3- Plastic waste challenge


The India Plastics Pact, the first in Asia, will be launched in September at the CII Annual Sustainability Summit.

Issue of plastic waste

  • A 2019 report by the Center for International Environmental Law suggests that by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions from plastic could reach over 56 gigatonnes, 10-13% of the remaining carbon budget.
  • Connection with livelihood: Viewed from the angle of livelihoods, post-consumer segregation, collection and disposal of plastics make up about half of the income of 1.5- 4 million waste-pickers in India.
  • For India, the solution must be multi-pronged, systemic, and large scale, to create a visible impact. The Plastics Pacts model offers such a solution.

About Plastics Pacts model

  • Business-led initiative: The Plastics Pacts are business-led initiatives and transform the plastics packaging value chain for all formats and products.
  • The Pacts bring together everyone from across the plastics value chain to implement practical solutions.
  • Integral to the Pact’s framework is the involvement of the informal waste sector crucial to post-consumer segregation, collection and processing of plastic waste. 
  • All Pacts unite behind four targets:
  • 1) To eliminate unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging through redesign and innovation.
  • 2) To ensure all plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable.
  • 3) To increase the reuse, collection, and recycling of plastic packaging.
  • 4) To increase recycled content in plastic packaging.
  • It is active in a number of countries including the U.K., South Africa, and Australia.
  • The first Plastics Pact was launched in the U.K. in 2018, by WRAP, a global NGO based in the U.K.
  • It is now being brought to India by CII and WWF India.


  • Economic advantage: It can be expected to boost demand for recycled content, investments in recycling infrastructure, jobs in the waste sector, and beyond.
  • Support EPR framework: The Pact will support the Extended Producer Responsibility framework of the government and improve solid waste management as envisioned in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
  • The India Plastics Pact focuses on solutions and innovation.
  • Plastic production and management development: The Pact will encourage the development and maturing of the entire plastics production and management ecosystem.
  • Drive circulatory of plastic: Apart from benefits to society and economy, delivering the targets will drive the circularity of plastics and help tackle pollution.


The India Plastics Pact will benefit society, the economy and the environment.

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