Material consumption: India

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The extent of consumption


Vishwa Mohan, August 5, 2019: The Times of India

1970-2015: Material consumption in India, China, Germany, Japan and the USA.
From: Vishwa Mohan, August 5, 2019: The Times of India

Fossil fuels, biomass, metal ores and nonmetal ores consumption in India increased by over six times in the past 45 years, from 1.18 billion tonnes (BT) in 1970 to 7.4 BT in 2015, and is projected to double by 2030 from its current level.

Keeping in mind the rising demand which may incur a huge cost to economy due to import of critical materials, Union environment ministry has come out with a draft ‘National Resource Efficiency Policy’ suggesting an institutional mechanism and three-year action plan to save resources.

The idea of the national policy is to drive the country towards a “circular economy” through efficient use of available material resources, based on principle of 6R (reduce, reuse, recycle, redesign, re-manufacture and refurbish) and ‘green public procurement’.

The draft policy also talks about regulations and taxes on virgin materials so that the manufacturers move to use of secondary raw materials by processing scrap. It also pitches for moving towards ‘zero landfill’ approach in the country, hinting at possibility of imposing ‘landfill taxes’ and ‘high tipping fees’ for bulk generators of waste.

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