Almost 90% Indians support cutting plastic production to tackle pollution and combat climate change: Greenpeace

Greenpeace calls for a Global Plastics Treaty that reflects public’s rejection of plastic, demands at least 75% reduction in plastic production by 2040

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 04 April 2024
Photo for representation: iStock

A new report by campaigning organisation Greenpeace International revealed that close to 90 per cent of Indians support reducing plastic production to tackle pollution and combat climate change. This widespread public backing comes ahead of a crucial meeting in Ottawa, Canada, where a global treaty to regulate plastics will be discussed.

The Greenpeace report was based on a survey that polled over 19,000 people across 19 countries, including India, in February 2024. The survey results indicated strong international support for measures like phasing out single-use plastics and promoting reusable alternatives.

In India, 87 per cent of respondents favoured cuts in plastic production to curb pollution, while 89 per cent believe the upcoming Global Plastics Treaty should mandate a shift from single-use to reusable packaging. Over 90 per cent Indians were also concerned about the impact of plastics on children’s health.

These findings were crucial in the fight against plastic pollution and climate change, said Abhishek Kumar Chanchal, project lead for a plastic-free future, Greenpeace India.

“The findings of this survey underscore the overwhelming public demand for transformative measures, including transitioning away from single-use plastics towards reusable and refillable solutions,” he said in a statement. 

The survey indicated strong global backing for decisive measures concerning plastic usage, particularly in regions of the Global South where plastic pollution is particularly severe. A significant majority of people endorsed these measures across all demographics, with 79 per cent of respondents from India supporting the exclusion of lobbyists from the fossil fuel and chemical sectors during treaty negotiations.

The poll also highlighted a significant disconnect between public opinion and some government stances. While Indians overwhelmingly back production cuts, the Indian government currently opposes limitations on plastic production, Greenpeace said in a statement.

The organisation is advocating for a Global Plastics Treaty that mandates a minimum 75 per cent reduction in plastic production by 2040. This reduction is critical to safeguard biodiversity and keep global temperatures within the 1.5°C target.

“Over 99 per cent of plastic is made from fossil fuels and with production set to skyrocket, it is a significant driver of climate change,” the statement said.

It also urged governments and corporations to listen to the public. The proposed treaty should prioritise ambitious targets that promote sustainable alternatives and environmental protection, it suggested.

The international community is preparing for the fourth meeting of Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on Plastic Pollution in Ottawa from April 23 to 29, 2024. The INC is tasked with developing a legally binding Global Plastics Treaty. The final negotiation round is scheduled for November 2024 in Busan, South Korea.

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