World Environment Day 2023 emphasises the critical importance of addressing plastic pollution. With a focus on plastic pollution solutions and the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution, this global event serves as a timely reminder that individual actions have a significant impact on the environment. India, a country dealing with its own environmental issues, must embrace this occasion to exhibit its commitment to eliminating plastic waste and demonstrating its efforts to maintain its ecosystems and secure a sustainable future.
In recent years, India has experienced a tremendous increase in plastic pollution, owing to population expansion and increased consumerism. Plastic garbage has accumulated in rivers and oceans, wreaking havoc on marine life and ecosystems. The ramifications of this problem are numerous, ranging from public health risks to biodiversity loss and ecological imbalance.
World Environment Day 2023
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the Indian government took strong steps to combat plastic pollution. India took an important step toward tackling plastic pollution by prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and use of certain single-use plastic items, including plastic carry bags, beginning July 1, 2022.
The 2016 Plastic Waste Management Rules define carry bags and encourage producers to use thicker plastic bags. The government first mandated a 50-micron thickness for plastic bags, replacing the previous 40-micron requirement.
A Path Forward for Sustainable Packaging
Various sustainable packaging projects across industries have emerged in India, demonstrating a rising commitment to environmental conservation.
Paper and cardboard alternatives, biodegradable materials, edible packaging, returnable/reusable systems, packaging size optimization, upcycled/recycled options, and eco-friendly e-commerce packaging solutions are being used in India. This change minimizes dependency on single-use plastics while also promoting renewable resources, reducing waste, and optimizing material consumption. Additionally, efforts are being made to increase customer knowledge and promote proper disposal procedures.
Leading Examples of Sustainable Packaging in India
Coca-Cola Company, the world’s largest beverage company, is making tremendous progress toward sustainable packaging and reducing plastic pollution. For the Return and Recycle project in India, the corporation has collaborated with Zepto, a technology-driven fast commerce company. This collaboration demonstrates Coca-Cola’s commitment to reducing plastic pollution through responsible waste management and increased recycling rates.
Amazon.com Inc., one of India’s leading e-commerce platforms, is making substantial efforts to promote sustainable packaging methods. Recognizing the environmental impact of packaging waste, the company has launched a number of measures to lower its ecological footprint and develop a more sustainable approach to packaging and delivery.
First and foremost, Amazon India is actively attempting to reduce superfluous packing materials. The organization has created packaging algorithms and guidelines that optimize the size and quantity of packaging materials required for each product, avoiding unnecessary waste. This method guarantees that packages are suitably sized, saving space and lowering the overall volume of packing materials utilized.
Inter IKEA Systems B.V., the well-known Swedish furniture and home products company, has made considerable gains in promoting sustainable packaging practises in India. Recognising the environmental impact of packaging waste, IKEA has developed a number of measures to decrease its ecological footprint and promote a more sustainable approach to packing.
IKEA India strongly promotes the use of environmentally friendly alternatives such as bioplastics, paper, and cardboard. IKEA decreases its dependence on nonrenewable resources and reduces trash output by replacing traditional packing materials with these eco-friendly alternatives.
IKEA also underlines the need for effective packaging design. To reduce material use and transportation emissions, the firm optimises packaging sizes. IKEA maximises space utilisation, minimises space, and reduces the total environmental effect of its items by ensuring that packaging is correctly sized.