trash in Tamil Nadu

Plastic waste, Tamilnadu, India. Photo: Dinodia Photo / Getty

This report illustrates the plastic value chain in India in a simple format for any practitioner trying to understand the current regulatory framework and relevant stakeholders, along with key recommendations to improve the current plastic value chain. Also provided are an overview of some innovative solutions along the plastic value chain and a map of relevant policies and regulations, both nationally and focusing on Tamil Nadu State, as well as the barriers and enablers for their implementation.

The key findings of this report include:

  • While plastic pollution is a longstanding problem, plastic regulation is relatively new to India‚Äôs policy landscape, which means that it is still limited in application and scope. The first national plastic waste policy was implemented in 2011, with ongoing amendments to close loopholes.
  • The substantial contribution of the informal sector in plastic waste management leads to higher rates of recycling in India compared to other countries. However, this informality leads to complexity in implementing formal plastic waste management processes at the regional or national level.
  • A large portion of unrecyclable plastic waste gets dumped in open landfills or in the ocean; this endpoint forms a significant part of the challenges still to be addressed.
  • Some states and union territories have taken active measures to address the plastic waste accumulation issue by implementing innovative solutions, such as repurposing plastic waste to construct roads or using plastic waste to produce fuel.