India, Germany MoU on Cities combating plastic entering the marine environment

India and Germany have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding on “Cities Combating Plastic Entering the Marine Environment”. It is in line with the objective of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban.

About the MoU

  • According to the MoU, the project to be implemented mainly focuses on sustainable solid waste management.
  • It will help India achieve the goal of phasing out single use plastics by 2022.
  • The project is being launched under the Joint Declaration made by the countries regarding cooperation in the field of Prevention of Marine Litter. The declaration was signed by India and Germany in 2019.
  • The project is to be implemented mainly in the states of Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The project is to be implemented for a period of three and a half years.
  • It will mainly support cities such as Port Blair, Kochi and Kanpur.

Key Features

  • The project will help the cities in improving their system of garbage collection, segregation.
  • It will also work towards enhancing marketing of plastic wastes.

Significance

Around 15% to 20% of the plastics entering the oceans are through the riverine system. Of this, 90% are contributed by the ten most polluted rivers in the world. Two of these rivers are located in India. They are the Ganges and Brahmaputra.

Challenges

  • India lags in data of exact plastics being dumped in the oceans.
  • With COVID-19 outbreak, the use of Personal Protective Equipment has increased that is often discarded in unscientific ways.

Current Scenario

  • India is the twelfth largest source of marine litter in the world. By 2025, it is expected to become the fifth largest source of marine litter.
  • India consumes 16.5 million tonnes of plastics annually. Of this, 43% are single use plastic material.

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