The rising problem of plastic waste in India

The largest issue with plastic trash in India is not the volume of
waste produced, but rather inefficient waste management, such as
poor disposal and recycling.

The collection, management, and correct disposal of plastic trash
are currently the main priorities. We are all aware that over the past
two decades, there has been an increase in the demand for new
goods and technology, which has led to an increase in plastic

According to the projections, the United States consumes 2.7 times as much plastic yearly as India, according to projections for 2023. The margin is expected to shrink to 1.6 times in 2033 and to be almost equal by 2053, nevertheless. This suggests that between 2023 and 2053, plastic usage in India could climb by a factor of four. The OECD warns that this will also lead to an increase in trash generation of 4.5 times.

India’s plastic consumption is expected to reach 20.89 million tonnes in 2021–22 and 64 million tonnes by 2033, so it is up to the industry to adopt circular economy principles in order to reduce waste and pollution while also creating new opportunities for growth and innovation.According to a CPCB data, 4,953 registered units are working with plastic across 30 Indian states and union territories. The research listed 823 unregistered plastic recycling and manufacturing facilities in nine states and UTs.

With no access to basic disposal methods, the informal sector manages 42–86% of waste. Due to a lack of technology-enabled equipment and knowledge, the informal sector diverts most garbage to landfills, and waste materials gathered by the informal sector are not channelled transparently. Waste that cannot be recycled and must instead be disposed of in landfills is frequently delivered to material recovery plants and recyclers in the waste management sector.

According to the Indian government, 60 percent of the nation’s plastic garbage is recycled. The reality, however, is rather different because, according to CSE statistics based on CPCB data, India could only recycle 12% of its plastic garbage.Additionally, 20% of plastic garbage is diverted to co-incineration, plastic-to-fuel production, and road building, meaning that only 20% of our plastic waste is burned and the remaining 68% is unaccounted for.

Because of the increasing environmental harm caused by overusing plastic and ignoring disposal options for it for a very long period, several other countries, like India, have adopted legislation to restrict the use of plastic.

How much plastic waste is generated in
India annually?

With 25,490 tonnes per capita, India produces 3.5 million tonnes of plastic annually. In India, the production of plastic waste has doubled in the previous five years. The pandemic also led to a rise in plastic production in the FMCG and e-commerce industries as well as in food delivery services, among other industries.

The primary issue is uncollected plastic waste, which makes up 40% of the rubbish thrown in landfills, clogs waterways, and pollutes roadways. Animals can easily consume plastic due to improperly disposed of plastic trash, which also contributes to the plastic catastrophe and overproduction of plastic.

We can infer that just a tiny portion of plastics are recycled and the remainder all ends up in landfills from the fact that 60% of the collected plastic garbage cannot be recycled for a variety of reasons.

Ocean plastic waste is a major issue in India as well; according to a Phew Trusts (2022) study, 11 metric tonnes of plastic garbage enter oceans each year, killing marine life and destroying habitats. If this trend persists, there is a significant risk, particularly in waterways and when wind blows the plastics deeper into the oceans.

Among the most contaminated oceans in the world include those near Mumbai, Kerala, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.Plastic packaging for groceries, food, cosmetics, consumer goods, etc., together with rising urbanisation and the growth of retail chains are to blame for India’s vast buildup of plastic garbage, which is the main cause of harm to the environment and to people.

Plastic waste management in India

A study conducted by the CIPET- CPCB on the ‘Assessment and Characterisation of Plastic Waste in 60 Major Indian cities’ observes a few important findings as has been mentioned below:

• 94% of plastic waste generated is recyclable and belongs to the thermoplastics family, while the rest 6% are non-recyclable thermoset plastics.

• 67% of the plastic waste belonged to the HDPE/ LDPE, 10% to PP, and 8.66% to PET amongst others.

The data indicates that the majority of the plastic waste generated comprised the HDPE/LDPE materials, such as polybags and multilayer pouches used for food packaging, gutkha, and so on. Further, the study also observes that households are the biggest source of this plastic waste.

Recycling and associated problems

The recycled plastics are more harmful to the environment than the virgin products due to the mixing of additives, colours, stabilizers, halogenated flame retardants, and so on. There is a considerable controversy about the extent to which these additives are released and their adverse effects on the environment. The central issues are the types and quantities of additives present in plastics for the uptake and accumulation in living organisms.

Some plastics have fibres which shorten every time it is recycled. Thus, a plastic can be recycled 7–9 times before it is no longer recyclable. A few polymers can only be recycled 1–2 times before they are down cycled into lesser-value products. The items that are downcycled (such as clothing, fleece, or even lumber) usually cannot be recycled and may eventually end up in a landfill.

What is the solution to the existing

Since 90% of the plastic waste end up in the landfill and ocean, Biodegradable Future have developed additives which will boost the biodegradability of any plastic goods without compromising the physical characteristics and will not negatively impact the recycling process if it ends up in a landfill, ocean or soil, it will naturally biodegrade.

Biodegradable Future aids businesses and manufacturers overcome the difficulties they currently face. The additive is made to prevent the plastic from degrading until it comes into touch with bacteria, ensuring that the plastic keeps its strength. Thus, there are no unpleasant shocks when using polymers that have undergone additive treatment; they maintain the same strength as other plastics.

The additives will work on all plastic items, including single-use shopping bags and custom-engineered durable parts. Additionally, Biodegradable Future provides a thorough consultation on the requirements in order to ascertain and validate whether how one can use this product in their enterprise.

The high expense of switching away from plastic in manufacturing and packaging is one of the reasons businesses are hesitant to do so.The affordable additives are more reasonable than the majority of plastic substitutes, keeping the prices down. Biodegradable Future additives have been shown to biodegrade plastic much faster than natural techniques in tests utilising the ASTM D5511 standard.


Plastic consumption is continuously increasing owing to urbanisation and the growing global demand. Although the rising rates of plastic production project positively for Indian businesses and the economy, unscientific waste management practices are leading adverse environment effects.

Bio-based and biodegradable plastics offer sustainable alternatives to curb plastic use and waste minimisation. The use of biodegradable plastic must be promoted, especially in large-scale applications, such as manufacturing of agricultural mulch films, superabsorbent composites used for waste water treatment, and sustained release of pesticides. There is a further need for the upscaling and commercialisation of these products through a facilitation of research and industry tie-ups.

This is where Biodegradable Future additives play a major role in replacing the traditional plastics that persist in landfills and ocean and harm the environment.Biodegradable Future is committed to improving our environment through material advances. They believe that through the research, invention and creation of biodegradable plastic, they can make actual improvements in peoples’ lives by putting less stress on the planet. Through a variety of properties— recyclability, compostability, sustainability- they make us believe that plastics are part of the solution, not the problem.

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For more information contact

Dean Lynch 
+1 619 752 3445  
+27 76 982 5253

Yves Renon
Global Sales Director
+33 607 496 377