More than 1,21,000 metric tonne (MT) of plastic waste is being “slyly” imported in India by companies and recyclers, which is adversely affecting the efforts to curtail plastic pollution, according to a study. The study, conducted by NGO Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Smriti Manch (PDUSM), stated that 55,000 metric tonne of plastic waste is being imported in India from Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“Over 55,000 MT plastic waste is imported from Pakistan and Bangladesh combined. The import is taking place from more than 25 countries which include the middle east, Europe and the USA,” it said. “The Indian recyclers and plastic companies are slyly importing used PET plastic bottles in the form of flakes and lumps, while tons of plastic waste generated every day remain untreated and dumped into landfills and oceans,” it added.
The data is based on a study conducted between April 2018 and February 2019. According to the study, more than 19,000 metric tonne of plastic waste is being imported in Delhi.
“Recyclers are importing plastic flakes and lumps, since it is cheaper compare to collecting and recycling locally produced waste,” it said.
Expressing concern over the growing import, the study said it may hamper the efforts to control plastic pollution.
“If recyclers are not stopped from importing recycled waste, then how will we encourage recycling industry to collect and recycle locally produced waste. The import is affecting government’s efforts in curtailing plastic pollution and also doing a disservice to our environment,” it said.