The Indian state of Maharashtra has joined the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) as part of its efforts to combat plastic pollution.

The move was announced during the WEF’s annual meeting for 2022, which is currently being held in Davos, Switzerland.

It follows the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5), in which member nations agreed to be held legally accountable for their contributions to the global plastic pollution crisis.

The move reinforces Maharashtra’s commitment to reducing plastic pollution, raising its anti-pollution ambitions and guaranteeing accountability and inclusivity throughout the value chain.

It will bring together major stakeholders in the state, including business leaders, policymakers, civil society organisations and plastic experts, to develop a state-wide plan to eliminate plastic pollution.

Maharashtra’s Environment and Climate Change Ministry will collaborate with the GPAP to launch a National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP), a platform to help tackle plastic pollution in Maharashtra.

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Maharashtra Environment and Climate Change Minister Aaditya Thackeray said: “This agreement with the World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership marks a critical juncture in our state’s battle against the plastic pollution endemic.

“Covid proved a hurdle towards our single-use plastic ban, where health priorities in PPP took precedent.

“Now as we refocus on our climate and sustainability objectives, we are laying the foundation to deliver the systems-wide change needed across sectors.

“This partnership is the building block as we transition towards a more resource-circular approach to tackle climate change while strengthening our economy.”

Maharashtra is the first Indian state to become part of the GPAP, joining countries such as Indonesia, Ghana, Pakistan, Vietnam and Nigeria in doing so.

The partnership comes ahead of India’s implementation of a ban on the production, sale and use of several single-use plastic items from this July.

Maharashtra previously banned single-use plastic bags in 2018 on a state-wide basis.