03 Jun 2023
Incentivise plastic credits for the industry to combat plastic pollution
Plastic pollution has emerged as one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, threatening ecosystems, marine life, and human health. Globally, the staggering statistics reveal a concerning reality: an estimated one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute, and approximately five trillion plastic bags are utilised annually. Shockingly, half of the total plastic […]

Plastic pollution has emerged as one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, threatening ecosystems, marine life, and human health. Globally, the staggering statistics reveal a concerning reality: an estimated one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute, and approximately five trillion plastic bags are utilised annually. Shockingly, half of the total plastic production is intended for single-use, serving its purpose briefly before being discarded. Presently, our planet generates a staggering 400 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, further exacerbating the environmental crisis.

As the world grapples with the magnitude of this crisis, it becomes imperative for us to take a proactive approach and implement comprehensive solutions. By combining individual actions, industry initiatives, and government policies, we can pave the way towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. 

Raising Awareness and Fostering Behavioural Change 

To address plastic pollution at its roots, we must foster a collective shift in behaviour. Through public awareness campaigns, educational programmes, and targeted outreach, we can empower individuals to make conscious choices. By promoting the reduction of single-use plastics, advocating for reusable alternatives, and encouraging responsible waste disposal, we can create a ripple effect of positive change in our communities.

Regulatory Measures and Policy Interventions 

Governments and policymakers play a pivotal role in curbing plastic pollution. By implementing stringent regulations and policies, such as single-use plastic bans, extended producer responsibility programmes, and improved waste management systems, they can drive systemic change. Collaboration between nations and the development of international agreements can further strengthen efforts to tackle plastic pollution on a global scale.

Investing in Research and Innovation

Advancing scientific research and innovation is crucial in finding sustainable alternatives to plastic and improving recycling technologies. Governments, businesses, and academic institutions must invest in research and development of biodegradable materials, compostable plastics, and eco-friendly packaging solutions. Encouraging innovation through grants, funding, and collaboration can accelerate the development and adoption of viable alternatives.

Strengthening Waste Management Systems

An efficient waste management infrastructure is critical for preventing plastic waste from entering our oceans, rivers, and landfills. Governments should invest in robust waste collection, sorting, and recycling facilities. Additionally, improving waste-to-energy technologies can help convert non-recyclable plastics into clean energy sources, reducing their environmental impact.

Role of Plastic Credits in the Fight Against Plastic Pollution

Plastic credits can play a significant role in beating plastic pollution by incentivising and supporting efforts to reduce, recycle, and responsibly manage plastic waste. Plastic credits provide financial incentives to individuals, businesses, and organisations that effectively reduce their plastic waste generation, promote recycling, and implement sustainable waste management practices. By rewarding such actions, plastic credits encourage and support the adoption of environmentally friendly practices.

Additionally, plastic credits can generate funds that are directed towards research, development, and implementation of innovative solutions and technologies aimed at reducing plastic pollution. These funds can be used to support projects focused on recycling infrastructure, plastic waste management systems, and the development of eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics.

Plastic credits promote the principles of a circular economy, wherein plastic waste is treated as a valuable resource. However, it is crucial to ensure that plastic credits are implemented alongside comprehensive policies, regulations, and education programs to address the root causes of plastic pollution and promote long-term systemic change.

Collective Action Towards a Sustainable Future

Addressing plastic pollution requires a multi-faceted approach that encompasses individuals, governments, businesses, and civil society. By raising awareness, implementing strong policies, investing in research and innovation, and fostering collaboration, we can overcome this global challenge. It is our collective responsibility to act swiftly and decisively to protect our environment, safeguard biodiversity, and secure a sustainable future for generations to come. Together, we can make a difference and pave the way towards a plastic-free world.

(Manish Dabkara is Chairman and Managing Director of EKI Energy Services Ltd, that works around carbon offset solutions and carbon asset management)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organisation

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