INDIA: Third Policy Roundtable on Marine Litter Prevention in India


The third policy dialogue on Marine Litter Prevention in India  was held on 3rd February 2023 in Thiruvananthapuram. 

As a part of the effort to tackle marine litter in the Lakshadweep sea, the PROMISE project organised a series of Policy Roundtables to prototype policy solution mechanisms for key challenges that pose in prevention of marine litter. The policy roundtables aim to maximise stakeholder engagement by bringing together policy makers, governmental bodies, institutions, development organisations, associations, NGOs and   social enterprises working in waste management and marine litter prevention projects.

The first policy roundtable (Defining Challenges) was conducted in India on 25.04.2022, where the participants discussed the current challenges and gaps in policies for India to prevent marine litter. The key challenges defined by participants were:

  • Lack of EPR schemes and policies to hold private sector accountable
  • Lack of awareness on waste management amongst stakeholders
  • Lack of regulatory authority for waste management at state level,
  • Lack of policies focusing on marine litter from tourism and fishery waste.

Building on this, the second policy roundtable (Solution Prototyping), was conducted on 26.07.2022 where participants focused on policy benchmarking (best cases) and the potential adaptation to the Indian context. They further designed and developed policy prototype solutions for the challenges that were identified in the first policy roundtable.

The groups came up with two main solutions:

  • Formation of 'District level Task Force for Single Use Plastics (SUP) ban' to support effective implementation of SUP ban mandates.
  • Design of 'Capacity Building Programmes for Sanitation Committees', to train ward level sanitation committees on Waste Management regulations and effective enforcement.

In the third policy roundtable (Public Showcasing), the policy solution prototypes were presented and the participants in two teams discussed the potential gaps & solutions in order to refine the solutions.  The participants were from from local government agencies including representatives from Gram Panchayats (village council), research and academic organizations, bilateral agencies and NGOs.  For the solution on District level Task Force for Single Use Plastics (SUP) ban, it was suggested that the Local Self Government Department (LSGD) and Panchayats should be involved. The next steps, suggested were reaching consensus on targets and timeline, accreditation for monitoring committee and its formation.  For solution on capacity building programmes for sanitation committees, it was felt that alongside capacity building of implementing authorities, awareness building among the communities should be carried out in a participatory manner with involvement of community organizations and local self government.  Periodic monitoring and assessments of the efforts was also suggested.

Participants liked the approach and methodology of bringing different stakeholder at one place and working on toolified approach to develop policy solutions. Many participants showed interest in joining Lakshadweep Zero Waste Alliance. The outcome of the last policy roundtable will be used to refine the developed solution prototypes and will be shared among participants for their further inputs and updated. Later in the year these prototype solutions will be published and disseminated among larger audience, especially with governmental actors.