Big news from India: the country aims to abolish single-use plastic in about four years. Prime minister Narendra Modi announced the goal on World Environment Day, and The Guardian said it’s the most ambitious commitment out of the actions to combat plastic pollution happening in 60 nations. The move could dramatically reduce the flow of plastic from 1.3 billion people.

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Pigs sleeping among plastic waste on a street in India

India is resisting plastic pollution with what United Nations Environment head Erik Solheim called a phenomenal commitment. The country’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan said single-use plastics will be banned in all of the country’s states by 2022. Solheim said the move would inspire the planet and “ignite real change.”

Related: Kenya introduces world’s harshest law on plastic bags

“It is the duty of each one of us to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment,” Modi said. “The choices that we make today will define our collective future. The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices. Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.”

UN Environment released a report providing “the first comprehensive global assessment of government action against plastic pollution,” including case studies from over 60 countries. The report included a list of states and cities in India that have banned plastic bags or disposable plastic products, and the selected case study in the country highlighted beach cleanup efforts in Mumbai; Inhabitat covered the initiative started by local lawyer Afroz Shah earlier this year. Volunteers have cleaned up around 13,000 tons of trash, largely plastics, according to the case study, and this year people spotted Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings on the beach for the first time in more than 20 years.

+ United Nations Environment

Via The Guardian

Images via Depositphotos and Juggadery/Flickr