Overview of EPR Fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management
Plastic was invented in 1907, and because it was less expensive and more convenient than other materials, it quickly found use in a variety of applications in our daily lives. Today, plastic is present in almost everything, from our money to electronic appliances, and it is used across multiple sectors, including packaging, building, construction, transportation, industrial machinery, and health, among others.
The Plastic Waste Management Rules mandate the generators of plastic waste take steps to minimize the generation of plastic waste, not to litter the plastic waste, ensure segregated storage of waste at source, and hand over segregated waste to local bodies or agencies authorized by the local bodies. The rules also mandate the responsibilities of local bodies, gram panchayats, waste generators, retailers, and street vendors to manage plastic waste.
Producers, importers, and brand owners bear extended producer responsibility (EPR) for the collection and recycling of plastic packaging waste. EPR will apply to both pre- and post-consumer plastic packaging waste.
Obligated Entities under EPR Fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management
Annual Return in EPR Fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management
The Plastic waste processors shall submit annual returns after the end of every financial year by 30 April of the next financial year on the quantity of plastic waste processed category-wise and state-wise as per prescribed pro forma on the centralized portal developed by CPCB. The total quantity of plastic waste processed by plastic waste processors and attributed to PIBOs on an annual basis will be made available on the centralized portal developed by CPCB as well as on the website of Plastic waste processors.
In case, at any stage, it is found that the information provided by the plastic waste processor is false, the plastic waste processor shall be debarred by SPCB, as per procedure laid down by CPCB, from operating under the EPR framework for a period of five years.
Plastic Packaging Waste Collection System by PIBOs
PIBOs, while fulfilling their EPR obligations, may encourage the development, collection, and segregation infrastructure of plastic packaging waste, as needed, based on the category of plastics. It may include the following based on the implementation modality of EPR adopted by PIBO:
PIBOs ensures that the network of collection points is not limited to areas where collection and subsequent management is profitable, taking into account the size of the population, expected volume of plastic/packaging waste, accessibility, and proximity to end-users. Waste collection companies will deliver waste to designated end uses or for recycling and treatment. Participation of voluntary collection points, who will be handing over plastic packaging waste to PIBOs or third-party agencies acting on their behalf for treatment and recycling or end-use identification.
EPR Fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management
When filing annual returns on the online portal, the PIBOs must provide the details of the recycling certificate only from recyclers that are registered, as well as the quantity sent for end-of-life disposal, by 30 April of the following fiscal year. The online portal will cross-check the information provided by PIBOs and registered plastic waste processors. In the event of a discrepancy, the lower figure would be applied toward PIBO's EPR obligation. The certificates shall be subject to verification by CPCB/SPCB/PCC, as the case may be.
Documents Required under EPR fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management
Challenges under EPR Fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management>
The adverse impacts of plastic have created an alarming situation everywhere, with a call for countries to make commitments against plastic pollution. Some of the challenges under EPR fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management are:
Limited Separation and Recycling Activities
There are limited separation and recycling activities at the source (particularly at the household level). Recovery is mostly applied to high-value plastics but is still largely informal-led (e.g., waste pickers who go house to house to collect recyclable wastes), leaving a sizable volume of high-value recyclable packaging ending up in disposal sites or leaking to the environment.
A Limited Number of Recycling Facilities
Despite the large volume of high-value recyclable plastics, they often end up not being recycled due to the limited number of recycling facilities, which are mostly concentrated in the central parts of the country. Coupled with the low recovery rates, some large recyclers and aggregators end up importing plastics to process.
High Volume of Low-Value Plastics and Non-Recyclables
There is a high volume of low-value plastics and non-recyclables (e.g., flexible films, sachets, composites), which are hard to collect as one needs to spend a long time to reach the minimum weight and buy at a low price. Recycling sachets also requires new equipment for processing. These scenarios lead to these sachets ending up in disposal sites or leaking into the environment
Benefits under EPR Fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fulfillment in plastic waste management offers several significant benefits, contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally responsible approach to handling plastic waste. Some of the benefits of EPR fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management are:
Promotion of Recycling
EPR encourages the development of efficient recycling processes. Producers, motivated by their responsibilities, invest in recycling technologies and infrastructure. This results in more plastics being recycled, reducing the demand for new plastic production and conserving resources.
The establishment and maintenance of recycling facilities and collection systems under EPR programs create employment opportunities. Recycling initiatives generate jobs in waste collection, sorting, processing, and related sectors, thereby supporting the local economy.
Reduction in Plastic Pollution
EPR programs ensure proper collection, recycling, and disposal of plastic products. By holding producers responsible, there is a significant reduction in plastic pollution in natural habitats, such as oceans, rivers, and forests, leading to a cleaner environment.
Steps to be Followed under EPR Fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management
Since EPR fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management requires a lot of steps and documentation, it would not be easy for an individual to do it. These involve:
Navigation through Plastic Waste Rules:
Role of Producer, Importer, Brand Owners under EPR fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management
Categories of Plastic under EPR Fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management
Different types of plastics possess different characteristics. According to Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, there are seven categories of plastics on the basis of their recyclability:
Polyethylene Terephalate (PET)
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC)
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
Polystyrene resins (PS)
Multi-materials like Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, poly-phenylene oxide, polycarbonate, Polybutylene terephthalate
How Can Corpbiz Assist You?
Corpbiz takes pride in being your partner for hassle-free EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) and Registration services. Our dedicated team specializes in demystifying the registration process, assisting your business every step of the way.
We at Corpbiz also assist you by providing the following:
Expert Consultation and Management of the Online EPR Portal and Annual Filing
Consultation with the experts for EPR Fulfilment in Plastic Waste Management. You need to provide information about your yearly sales, purchases, and recycling to us for the Central Pollution Control Board's online EPR Portal. Corpbiz oversees the management of your EPR Portal and makes sure that annual returns are filed on time as needed.
Our team warrants hassle-free documentation. We ensure to collect the necessary documents and share the relevant drafts to ensure timely filing and delivery.
Let us become your One-stop Solution platform to manage all your EPR fulfillment; from decoding the eligibilities to documentation and to filing timely reports and plans, we will take care of everything for you.
Throughout the process, our team will be there to provide you with assistance. You can also easily keep track of everything through our platform and interface and stay abreast of everything.
Frequently Asked Questions
EPR is a policy approach in which manufacturers are held responsible for the disposal or recycling of the products they produce, especially plastics, once they reach the end of their life cycle.
EPR is important as it encourages producers to design products that are easier to recycle, reduce plastic usage, and manage their products' entire life cycle, thereby minimizing environmental impact.
Producers establish recycling programs, contribute to collection infrastructure, and ensure proper disposal of their products. They may collaborate with recycling facilities or local governments to fulfil their EPR obligations.
EPR promotes recycling, reduces plastic pollution, conserves resources, and encourages innovation in eco-friendly product design, leading to a more sustainable environment.
Challenges include setting up efficient collection systems, ensuring compliance from producers, educating consumers, and creating a robust recycling infrastructure.
Consumers can participate in recycling programs, choose products with minimal packaging, and properly dispose of plastic waste to support the EPR initiatives of producers.
Governments establish and enforce EPR policies, monitor compliance, and provide necessary support, such as creating guidelines and regulations for producers.
Yes, producers failing to meet EPR obligations may face fines, legal actions, or restrictions on their products, motivating them to comply with the regulations.
Businesses should stay informed about relevant regulations, collaborate with recycling organizations, and invest in sustainable product design and recycling infrastructure.
Innovations include advanced recycling technologies, biodegradable plastics, and initiatives promoting circular economy principles, which aim to minimize waste and maximize resources.
EPR regulations often cover a wide range of plastic products, including packaging materials, electronic devices, appliances, and other consumer goods made of plastic.
Recycling facilities collaborate with producers to handle the collection and recycling of plastic waste. They process collected materials, ensuring they are recycled or disposed of responsibly according to EPR guidelines.
Communities can raise awareness, participate in recycling programs, and advocate for effective EPR policies, encouraging both producers and consumers to play their part in responsible plastic waste management.