Anxieties about the ills of plastics are not new; concerns about the material date as far back as the 1920s. These longstanding concerns did not, however, result in a shift in political will toward plastic control interventions until recently, with the onset of single-use plastic bans. Drawing on data from India, we examine contemporary discourses on plastic pollution and plastic control and the ways in which stakeholders frame narratives regarding both the “problem” of plastic pollution and solutions to this problem. We also highlight three models of citizenship—those of the hygienic citizen, the consumer–citizen, and the activist citizen—that inform the appeals of stakeholders involved in this politics of responsibility. One other stream of discourse, lying outside these models, focuses on yet-to-be-implemented scientific and technological innovations that can address plastic pollution. This stream has the potential to create a false impression of progress toward plastic control in the public imaginary and to absolve citizens of responsibility for the plastic problem.
- Ecological citizenship
- Plastic control
- Plastic pollution
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science