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SEI report

Analysis of the plastic waste value chain in India: a scoping study

Plastic waste accumulation and inadequate disposal are global issues that are especially problematic for countries with large and growing populations and long coastlines, such as India. This report provides an overview of the complex plastic value chain in India, the key stakeholders involved, and their roles and interactions.

Jaee Nikam, Daniel Ddiba, George Njoroge / Published on 7 October 2022
Download  Download the report / PDF / 2 MB

Nikam, J., Ddiba, D. and Njoroge, G. (2022). Analysis of the Plastic Waste Value Chain in India: A Scoping Study. SEI report. Stockholm Environment Institute.

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’s 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.

Download the report / PDF / 2 MB

SEI authors

Daniel Ddiba
Daniel Ddiba

Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

George Njoroge is a Research Fellow at SEI Africa.
George Njoroge

Research Fellow

SEI Africa

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