(CNN)India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to ban single-use plastics in his Independence Day speech in Delhi on Thursday.
Modi has vowed to ban single-use plastics to fight India's trash crisis
Modi called on Indians to make an effort to rid their country of plastic waste and raised the possibility of "strong first steps towards bidding adieu to single-use plastic on October 2."
About 70% of the plastic the country consumes is simply discarded and there is no processing of waste in most Indian cities, according to the Ministry of Environment's Central Pollution Control Board.
As a result the world's largest democracy is home to vast trash mountains that loom over the outskirts of major cities, and huge quantities of plastic end up in the water by way of the Ganges. The river is second only to China's Yangtze in the amount of plastic it contributes to the world's oceans, according to a 2017 study.
Modi appealed to the people to help in his bid to address the growing problem.