India will aim to eliminate all single-use plastics in the country by 2022 as part of a new sustainability strategy announced by the country’s prime minister Narendra Modi.
The strategy was announced as part of this year’s World Environment Day which was hosted by the country, and the commitment tied into this year’s key theme of beating plastic pollution.
This move aims to drastically stem the flow of disposable plastics from 1.3 billion people in one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and Modi said that the economic development of the country would allow it to tackle the issue “in a way that is sustainable and green”.
Modi said that the country will also begin a campaign to tackle marine litter and would sign up to the UN’s Clean Seas campaign, as well as establishing a programme to measure the total marine plastic footprint in India’s coastal waters.
The commitment also includes a pledge to make 100 national monuments throughout the country litter-free, including the Taj Mahal.
Modi said: “It is the duty of each one of us, to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment.
“The choices that we make today, will define our collective future. The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices.
“Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.”
Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment added: “This has been the biggest, most resonant World Environment Day ever, thanks to the leadership of our global host India.
“India has made a phenomenal commitment and displayed clear, decisive and global environmental leadership.
“This will inspire the world and ignite real change.”
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