Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic products in the environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, or humans. Several companies like Coca-Cola, Infosys and Hilton among others have pledged to address the growing problem of plastic pollution.
The government is sensitizing the issue on the occasion of the World Environment Day on June 5 with the theme ‘Beat plastic pollution’.
“We have pledged to recover and recycle one package for every single one that we put out in the market by 2030,” Coca-Cola India and South West Asia Vice-President (Public Affairs and Communications) Ishteyaque Amjad said.The company is committed towards making all of its packaging recyclable. “We started that journey in India a few years ago and we will work hard to achieve our goal before the timeline,” he said in a statement. Listing out the initiatives, the company said its bottling partner, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages has already kick started a recycling project in Mumbai and Goa to be followed by Bhopal on the World Environment Day. The project in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Indian Centre for Plastic in the Environment (ICPE) and Stree Mukti Sanghatana (NGO) focuses on creating a circular economy for plastic waste by generating value out of used plastic, thereby reducing litter. Among other measures, the company said it is also promoting and facilitating source segregation in residential and commercial establishments in partnership with Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Tetra Pak and NGO Saahas.
Similarly, IT giant Infosys has pledged to make its campuses non-recyclable plastics-free by 2020. The company has also committed to reduce the per capita generation of plastic waste by 50 per cent in the same year. Infosys said it aims to replace PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) water bottles, plastic carry bags, food sachets, toiletries, garbage bin liners and business card holders among other plastic items used at its campuses with environment-friendly materials.
That apart, Hilton group has vowed to eliminate plastic straws across its managed hotels in Asia Pacific by end of 2018, and transition away from plastic bottles from its conference and event spaces. Hilton has 5,300 hotels in over 100 countries. In India, the group has seven hotels.
In an effort to engage public in managing plastic waste, The Beer Cafe will offer discounts to customers who bring their empty pet plastic bottles of 500 ml or more to any outlet to be recycled between June 5 and 12, it said in a statement. Customers bringing 5 to 10 plastic bottles will get 10 per cent off on their bill, while those bringing 10 to 15 bottles will get a discount of 15 per cent, the statement added.
According to The World Economic Forum, India annually generates about 56 lakh tonnes of plastic waste and contributes an astounding 60 per cent to the amount of plastic waste dumped into the world’s oceans every year.