Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022

 

Why in News?

  • Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change announced the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022, which notified the instructions on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for plastic packaging.
  • Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016has been amended to fast-track the elimination of single-use plastics and promote alternatives.
  • The term Extended Procedure Responsibility means the responsibility of a producer for the environmentally sound management of the product until the end of its life.

Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016

  • It mandates the generators of plastic waste to take steps to minimize generationof plastic waste, prevent littering of plastic waste, and ensure segregated storage of waste at source among other measures.
  • The rules also mandate the responsibilities of local bodies, gram panchayats, waste generators,retailers and street vendors to manage plastic waste.
 

Plastic Packaging:

  • Reuse of rigid plastic packaging material has been mandated in the guidelines to reduce the use of fresh plastic material for packaging.
  • The enforceable prescription of minimum level of recycling of plastic packaging waste collected under EPR along with use of recycled plastic content will further reduce plastic consumption and support recycling of plastic packaging waste.
Extended Producer Responsibility Certificates:
  • In a significant first, the guidelines allow for sale and purchase of surplus extended producer responsibility certificates.
  • This will set-up a market mechanism for plastic waste management.
 
Environmental Compensation:
  • Environmental compensation will be levied based upon polluter pays principle, with respect to non-fulfilment of EPR targets by producers, importers and brand owners, for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environment pollution.
  • The Polluter Pays Principle imposes liability on a person who pollutes the environment to compensate for the damage caused and return the environment to its original state regardless of the intent.
 
Committee to Recommend Measures:
  • A committee constituted by the CPCB under the chairmanship of CPCB chairman will recommend measures to the environment ministry for effective implementation of EPR, including amendments to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) guidelines.
 
Annual Report on EPR Portal:
  • State Pollution Control Board (SPCBs)or Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) have been tasked to submit an annual report on EPR portal with respect to its fulfillment by producers, importers and brand-owners and plastic waste processors in the state/Union Territory to the CPCB.

Significance:
  • It will promote development of new alternatives to plastics and provide a roadmap for businesses to move towards sustainable plastic packaging.
  • The guidelines provide a framework to strengthen the circular economy of plastic packaging waste.
  • A circular economy depends on reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling of resources to create a closed-loop system, minimising the use of resources, generation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.
Source: THE HINDU.

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