There isn’t enough space for landfills and we’re turning the oceans into a plastic soup!" he said. That means we have to be far smarter, we have to innovate, we need to cut the waste and we need to ensure we get maximum value out of this miracle material. But ultimately we need upstream change, because the objective has to be to stop plastic from ending up in oceans plastic tray Manufacturers in the first place. Plastic isn’t the problem; it’s how we use it. And we need governments to enforce the ‘polluter pays’ principle, and reward those who are doing the right thing," said Mr Solheim. Simply put, we can’t continue to keep on producing single-use, throwaway plastic like we do now. Even though plastic accounts for three per cent of the total solid waste generated in Mumbai, it has taken a toll on natural resources such as beaches, rivers and mangroves.This year, the theme of World Environment Day is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, which also finds relevance in Mumbai, which generates around 282 tonnes of plastic waste daily as per the civic body’s Status Report of 2017. In March, Maharashtra became India’s 18th state to ban plastic.. As such, Mr Solheim believes that there is an urgent need for behavioural changes in citizens to use plasticwisely. They show people that they can step up and take action, and do not have to be idle spectators to the destruction of our environment."Following massive beach clean-ups spearheaded by lawyer Afroz Shah, which liberated Versova Beach of more than 15 million kilograms of litter in the last two years, there have been active measures by citizens to exorcise of the plastic spectre.

They send a powerful message around India and around the world.Elaborating on the role of citizen’s in combating the menace, Mr Solheim said, "The great thing about beach clean-ups is that they have really helped focus public attention on the issue. We need companies to innovate and pay attention to the products they are using or producing. There are any number of policy options, like taxes or deposit and reward schemes that incentivise recycling and proper waste disposal. While the city’s mangroves have been cleared of 8 lakh kilograms of garbage in four months this year, Mumbaikars have been also cleaning the banks of rivers every week, recovering lakhs of plastic waste every month. "We need citizens to change their behaviour and use their power as consumers. He told The Asian Age that, aside from the plastic ban, we need more policy options such as taxes or deposit-and-reward schemes that incentivise recycling and proper waste disposal.He said that though single use of plastic should be curbed, the UN is not against plastic.Mumbai: In the run-up to World Environment Day, United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) executive director Erik Solheim, who is in India to highlight the importance of citizens’ movements against plastic pollution, has stressed upon the need for action from three major components of society: citizens, industry and the government. "Somet-imes a ban is a good solution, but it’s not the only tool. Long-term, this is a problem of design and of application