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Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022

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Introduction: Plastic Waste Management

Plastic since its invention in 1907, has been cheaper and much handier than other materials. Nowadays plastic can be found in almost everything. It is being used in multiple sectors like packaging, health, transportation, construction, building, and others. Due to its continuous use and easy accessibility single-use plastic has become the most popular among plastics. It is difficult to recycle though. Increasing use of plastic and improper plastic waste management poses a grave danger to our environment and ecology. The quantity of plastic that is generated is huge whereas the quantity that is being sustainably managed and discarded is minimal.

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Plastic Usage across the Globe 

Across the globe, manufacturing industries produce approximately 400 million tonnes of plastic waste per year, of which the packaging industry is the biggest contributor. The global recycling percentage is very low, only 9%. The Report released by CPCB (2019-20) reveals that annually 3.4 million metric tonnes of plastic waste are generated. Per capita, plastic consumption in India is 11 Kgs as per a report released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. 

Plastic Waste Management

As the use of plastic is increasing at a very fast pace, plastic waste management becomes the utmost priority. Plastic can be managed in two specific ways- either it can be recycled or reprocessed into a secondary material or it can be incinerated. 

In order to sustainably manage plastic waste, the MoEF & CC came out with Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 which were further amended in 2018, 2021, and 2022. PWMR 2016 and 2018 introduced Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and PWMR 2021 defined single-use plastic. Recently introduced PWM (Amendment) Rules, 2022 sets out clear guidelines regarding EPR. 

Provisions under new guidelines

Classification of plastic packaging

Plastic packaging has been classified into four categories mentioned below:

  • Category I:- Rigid plastic packaging; like pickle jars, yogurt containers, wine bottles, whip cream cans, etc.

Rigid plastic packaging

  • Category II:- Flexible plastic packaging of a single layer or multilayer (more than one layer with different types of plastic), plastic sheets or like and covers made of plastic sheet, carry bags, plastic sachet or pouches.

Flexible plastic packaging

  • Category III:- Multi-layered plastic packaging (at least one layer of plastic and at least one layer of material other than plastic.

Multi-layered plastic packaging

  • Category IV:- Plastic sheet or like used for packaging as well as carry bags made of compostable plastics.

Plastic sheet or like used for packaging

EPR targets and obligations of PIBOs

PIBOs stand for Producers, Importers, and Brand-Owners. PIBOs are given certain targets in order to comply with their EPR obligations. In addition to PIBOs, Plastic Waste Processors are also given targets. These targets include

  • EPR target
  • Obligation for recycling
  • End of life disposal
  • Obligation for use of recycled plastic content

EPR certificates

This new provision will allow the PIBOs to sell, purchase and offset their EPR certificates. This will create a market mechanism for plastic waste similar to the carbon credit trading market which will contribute towards climate change mitigation.

Centralized online portal

CPCB is creating an online system that will deal with all matters related to plastic waste management including registration, filing of annual returns, and guidelines related to the implementation of EPR for plastic packaging. This will be established by 31st March 2022.

Environmental Compensation

CPCB will levy environmental compensation on PIBOs functioning in more than two states, in case they fail to fulfill their EPR targets. This compensation would be based upon the polluter pays principle. SPCB will levy compensation on PIBOs functioning in one or two states and UTs. The EPR targets which remain unfulfilled in a particular year will be carried forward to the next year for a period of three years.

CPCB or SPCB or PCC will keep the funds collected under environmental compensation in a separate escrow account. This fund will be used for the sustainable management of plastic waste.

Committee for EPR under PWM Rules

CPCB will form a committee under the chairpersonship of the Chairman, CPCB. This committee will be given the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of EPR and supervision of the centralized portal.

Importance of the New Rules:

Sustainable management of Plastic Waste is a necessity in today’s world. If we can manage plastic waste in an environmentally sound manner, plastic can be shifted from waste to a renewable resource. Plastic waste management puts forward a unique opportunity to contribute towards 14 of the 17 SDGs.

Importance of the New Rules

According to the Government of India, the ban on most single-use plastic will take effect from July 1st, 2022. These rules will contribute to achieving the ban on single-use plastic and subsequently recycling and reusing plastic in an environmentally sensible manner. 

Moving from a linear economy towards a circular economy

The model of linear economy which is based upon the take-make-use-dispose principle is no longer an option for us. The model of circular economy which is based upon the take-make-waste approach is a sustainable solution. In the circular economy model, the natural ecosystem is regenerated, materials and products are kept in use for as long as possible and waste is managed in a sustainable manner. Towards the end of the process, resources are not discarded or destroyed, rather they are reused, repaired, remanufactured, or recycled, retaining their value. 

In order to keep our resources intact and protect our environment and ecology, we need to develop a robust plastic waste management system, as plastic poses a huge threat to our resources and biodiversity. These rules and other steps taken in the direction of plastic waste management will enable us to take a step towards the circular economy.

Battery Waste Management Authorization

Batteries (Management & Handling ) Rules apply to every manufacturer, importer, re-conditioner, assembler, dealer, recycler, auctioneer, consumer and bulk consumer involved in manufacture. Team Corpseed will help you to draft and submit online & offline application to respective SPCB and CPCB.

E-waste License

The E-Waste rules apply to every manufacturer, producer, consumer, bulk consumer, collection centers, dealers, e-retailer, refurbisher, dismantler and recycler involved in manufacture, sale, transfer, purchase, collection, storage.

EPR in Plastic Waste Management Authorization

Team Corpseed will help your organization to draft and file online/offline application for EPR in Plastic Waste Management to SPCB & CPCB. Plastic Waste Management rules apply to every waste generator, local body, Gram Panchayat, manufacturer.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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Author
Suneeta Tikoo
Over 22 years of experience in IT compliances, Pollution Waste management & EPR compliances. Currently working in Corpseed as Operational Head.

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