EPR

All you need to know about  EPR Compliance for Manufacturers

calendar03 Feb, 2024
timeReading Time: 12 Minutes
All you need to know about EPR Compliance for Manufacturers

Extended Producer responsibility is a regulatory framework that stems from the concept of the Polluters Pay Principle in the domain of environmental protection. The EPR compliances ensure that the producer or manufacturer of a product is aware of the consequences and impact of the product’s lifecycle on the environment. Hence, EPR compliances for Manufacturersimposes compulsion upon the Producer to comply with all relevant standards of waste management, as laid down in the laws and regulations in order to receive a valid EPR authorization for continuing his business activity from the authorities.

Authorities to Overlook EPR Compliance

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) are authorities authorized by the Government and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Changes (MoEFC)to oversee the conduct of manufacturers and producers who observe EPR compliances. The Pollution Control Boards have been given the powers to grant EPR authorization, monitor EPR entities and ensure that they observe statutory waste-management guidelines, set up the necessary infrastructure to facilitate EPR compliances for manufacturers, and maintain standards of waste management and pollution control by adhering to the EPR laws and guidelines.

Need to EPR Compliance

The EPR compliances for manufacturers ensures that the producer entities ensure proper EPR waste management and effective handling and disposal of hazardous waste, whereby it does not cause harm or pollute the environment. EPR acts as a check and balance on the activities of the producers which ensures that they do not overlook their social responsibility towards nature conservation while pursuing their commercial activities. Regulatory authorities have to ensure that the producers of manufacturing entities put in place adequate infrastructure and plans to ensure efficient waste disposal and management. Statutory authorities also ensure that the entities comply with the record-keeping and periodic reporting requirements since it helps the Government in tracking the data related to hazardous waste management and formulating policies for effective measures to be taken in eh future.

For emostly, EPR encourages entities to frame EPR plans to undertake activities intended to discharge the statutory compliances under waste management and disposal laws. For effective implementation of the EPR framework, the authorities can impose heavy penalties, and fines and even proceed with cancellation of EPR authorization of entities who are found to be deviating/not observing the EPR Compliances for manufacturers. Through their unique and flexible waste management and environment cleansing programs, the EPR plans seek to achieve the dual objectives of satisfying manufacturing recycling obligations as well as striving to achieve The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

How EPR is Beneficial for the Producers

EPR compliances for manufacturers ensure synergy with the overall environmental protection and sustainable development frameworks, regulated by the statutory authorities, known as Product Responsibility Organizations (PRO). The main function of these PROs is the ensure that the stakeholders of the market are complying with EPR requirements and enforce compliance if they believe the same is not being observed. Manufacturing recycling obligations might appear cumbersome and expensive at once, but they benefit producer organizations in several ways, such as

Sustainable growth

EPR compliance for manufacturers ensures overall sustainable growth and increases the development potential of industries. It contributes to the GDP and growth rate of the economy as well by cutting costs on waste transportation, collection, and management, calibrating waste disposal methods, and enabling the introduction and rapid expansion of new technologies and eco-modulation models like making bio-fuels from discarded crop husk, domestic fuels from animal refuse like cow dung, re-usable utensils from crop waste, etc. EPR compliances for manufacturers are not just a statutory requirement, but also ensure that the producer entity is committed to environmental protection and resource efficiency through ESG solutions.

Transparency  in waste-management tracking

EPR reporting is a very important aspect of minimizing waste mistreatment and ensuring EPR compliance for manufacturers. The PROs have put in place annual and periodic compliances and reporting requirements for manufacturers and producers, hence keeping track of their EPR targets becomes easy and traceable. Also, the process of obtaining EPR authorization requires the producer entity to submit all necessary documents and obtain requisite clearances as per the Air Act, Water Act, and other such regulations, making the EPR Authorization process fairly transparent and streamlined. Mandatory EPR compliances for manufacturers ensure that they effectively follow sustainable waste management methods and also ensure adequate measures are taken by the PROs to ensure sustainable EPR practices in product designing, packaging, testing, and deployment of recycled products.

Circular Economy and Refurbishment

EPR guidelines and EPR compliances for Manufacturers promote the sustainable use of waste products by the manufacturing entity, whereby the waste product generated can be recycled and put to reuse. Hence, ensuring minimal waste and optimum utilization of resources. A circular supply chain ensures that new and unused resources are not used, instead the discarded resources and recycled and put to use within the same process. This process prevents resource depletion and low-carbon emissions since the original resources are being refurbished and repurposed without going over the original procedure again and preventing fresh utilization of resources.

Cost–Efficient Waste Management Process

EPR Solutions offers highly efficient and inexpensive waste management procedures for manufacturers. It offers guidelines for collection, transportation, treatment, disposal, and their reuse. Following this process, manufacturers can often improve the recycled product by making alterations to its design, shape packaging, efficiency, cost, and price offered when sold in the market as a refurbished product. All in all, EPR compliances for manufacturers enable them to cut on cost, time, energy, and time taken to process the waste generated. EPR Plans help reduce waste generated at source and incentivize the use of sustainable and eco-friendly product designs.

How is the EPR regime regulated in India?

manufacturing recycling obligations entail a list of several laws and regulations that regulate, amend, and oversee EPR Plans and EPR compliances for manufacturers in India. EPR compliances are generally framed based on waste generated/processed, waste recycling targets met, nature and type of original product, and waste generated at the source, product design, and packaging. Conforming with the EPR guidelines and practices with respect to its products signifies the company’s adherence to sustainability and eco-friendly methods for the production and recycling of used and discarded products

Adapting EPR compliances for manufacturers demonstrates the commitment of companies and manufacturers towards sustainability, strengthens product reliability and brand value in the market, increases the efficiency of the products by recalibrating their reusability, and ensures regulatory compliance for the complete product lifestyle under the EPR regime.

EPR compliances for manufacturers vary as per the nature and category of waste generated by the manufacturing unit. They are generally governed by Product Responsibility Organizations, such as the State Pollution Control Board and Central Pollution Control Board, and the producer entities are required to obtain an EPR Authorization form for these entities only.  The various laws and regulations applicable to industries and manufacturing units, on the categorization of waste generated are –

Plastic Waste Management and Recycling in India are governed by the E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011. Since plastic is non-biodegradable waste, its polluting potential is very high and hence requires careful segregation from the rest of the waste material produced. The act provides regulations of commercial packing plastic and frames guidelines on aspects such as its thickness, quality, biodegradability, material use, etc. The EPR compliances under the Act applicable to producers include setting up mechanisms for the segregation of plastic waste at the collection point and transporting and recycling plastic waste at the designated centers. The main focus of EPR compliances for manufacturers in the Plastic Waste industry is the minimization of harmful plastic waste, processing of waste plastic, and repurposing of plastic waste, hence effectively reducing pollution caused by discarded, unprocessed plastic waste.

E-waste management is regulated by the E-Waste Management and Handling Rules, 2011. E-waste such as used batteries, appliances, gadgets, etc. contains a   lot of potential to cause serious Environmental pollution. The manufacturing recycling obligations on the part of the producer entity with respect to E-waste entail the liability of setting up collection and segregation and transportation infrastructure for end-of-life E-Waste products. Under E-waste EPR compliances for manufacturers, the entity is required to prepare an EPR Plan and submit the same to the PRO for the purpose of obtaining EPR authorization. Post-grant of EPR authorization, the manufacturer shall file annual and quarterly returns of the E-Waste Processed with the regulatory authority.

Battery Waste Management is one of the most complex of all EPR compliances for manufacturers. It is regulated by the Batter Waste Management Rules, 2016,and stipulates that the producer shall be responsible for end-to-end lifecycle management of a battery, starting from the manufacture, sale, and collection of used batteries to recycling and refurbishment of the battery. As per the EPR Plan, the manufacturer shall fulfil sanctioned targets of waste batteries collected and recycled. 

Various Stakeholders and their Liability under the EPR Compliance Regime

As per the Extended Producer Responsibility Authorization, the manufacturer is required to discharge the functions of a Producer, Seller, Collector, Recycler, refurbisher, and importer. Individually, each stakeholder has a different role and responsibility in the Regime meant for ,. The EPR Authorization is a consolidated clearance issued by the Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Boards to the manufacturer. The duties, roles, and responsibilities of different stakeholders are classified below –

 1. Responsibilities of the Producer

Producer is an umbrella term used to define a person who is responsible for the complete lifecycle of waste management. A producer must design its product using eco-modulation and eco-friendly concepts and materials, right from the start of the production chain so that upon disposal, the product generates a minimum amount of waste. The Producer must ensure to keep in place relevant mechanisms for the purpose of collecting, segregating, transporting, and recycling waste generated waste to the government-approved recycling centers. Finally, the producer shall be responsible for achieving recycling targets and record keeping and reporting the details of eh waste recycled per annum.    

2. EPR compliance for Brand Owners

In order to import and distribute products created from recycled waste and for crucial purposes, the EPR  manufacturer is someone who produces and recycles batteries and other auxiliary components, either under his own manufacturing label or by working with assemblers and other parties to engage in white-labelling. They are engaged in procuring or buying products from a n EPR compliant manufacturer and selling the commodity under their own brand label or trademark on online platforms and retail markets/supermarkets or retail stores. In this way, Brand Owners contribute to waste management and minimization measures under EPR obligations by branding, repacking and promoting e-waste complaint products in the market.

3. EPR Compliances for Importers 

Importers and distributors of products prepared from waste-management and recycling processes are also required to comply with the EPR Compliances in order to satisfy the manufacturing recycling obligations of product manufacturers. They are required to make annual and periodic filings with the statutory authorities as well as report annual targets for the products imported. Importers form a very important part of waste-product supply-chain management since they represent the quality and commitment of the product towards environmental protection in foreign jurisdictions.

Document required in the process of EPR Compliances for Manufacturers

For the purpose of obtaining a valid EPR Authorization, there are several documents which are required to be submitted before the statutory authority, upon whose verification, the EPR Certificate is issued to the producer entity., Those documents are –

Challenges in discharging EPR compliances for Manufacturers

Despite the fact that the Government has greatly simplified the process for complying with EPR Compliances for Manufacturers and subsequently obtaining an EPR Authorization, there are still several complexities most businesses face in regard to discharging manufacturing recycling obligations. Some of these are –

1. Dynamic Nature of Guidelines

EPR guidelines are regulations are very dynamic and ever-changing. First introduced in 2006, EPR compliances for manufacturers have been going through major and minor amendments almost every year till today. This makes it difficult for companies and manufacturers who wish to seek EPR Authorization from the Government. Also, ambiguity in the list and categorization of industries makes it difficult to ascertain whether a particular industry is required to comply with EPR compliances for manufacturers or not.

2. Complex Documentation requirements

Obtaining an EPR Authorization entails a rigorous process of applying and making documentary submissions with the Producer Responsibility Organizations and Pollution Control Boards. Since the application and reporting requirements of the law are very complex and time-consuming, entailing several clearances and permits, it becomes a challenge to fulfil the application requirements of the EPR Authorization and EPR compliances for Manufacturers. 

3. Ineffective Infrastructure

The Waste Management Infrastructure in India is visibly very ineffective and outdated. From Waste Collection and segregation centers to recycling plants, landfills, and waste treatment plants, the technologies being used are not in line with today’s technologies, hence leading to mismanagement of solid and hazardous waste.

4. Non-Cooperation by the stakeholders

EPR compliances include a supply-chain model, where every entity has a distinct role to play in the effective utilization and management of recycled waste products. Coordination with every individual stakeholder for the purpose of fulfilling all necessary – EPR compliances for manufacturers becomes a challenge since every stage of EPR compliance requires intricate filing and reporting requirements. Sometimes, EPR compliances for manufacturers are not effectively observed among the stakeholders, due to factors such as ineffective coordination, poor waste management infrastructure, loss of efficiency of the process along the supply chain, or simply due to non-compliance on the part of any stakeholder to discharge their obligations. Consolidated EPR Authorization has tried to address this issue by eliminating the multiplicity of stakeholders and integrating EPR responsibility with one single entity i.e. producer of the product, but still, it faces several inadequacies that need to be addressed

Why Corpbiz for EPR Compliance?

We at Corpbiz are a dedicated professional services provider, having a team of experienced professionals and consultants. They are efficient in assisting you with all major environmental compliances you require for your organization. Right from Online application, document verification, and submission, relying on objections, and finally approval of EPR Authorization, our team would assist you at every step of the process, ensuring that your EPR application process goes smoothly and scot-free.

Conclusion

EPR compliances for Manufacturers and recycling obligations are obligatory compliances on the part of the manufacturers which signify that the producer entity is committed to environment protection and sustainable business practices. EPR authorization also helps your business gain credibility and uniqueness in the market as it signifies your compliance with statutory requirements, making your product more reliable and qualitative. However, fulfilling EPR compliances is a fairly complex task, with the producer entity having to undergo several mandatory compliances and file a bulk of documents with eh concerned government department. On top of that, the entire process of obtaining an EPR Authorization for making online applications, submission of documents and requisite clearances, and responses to objections can be very time-consuming and costly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is Meant by Waste Management in an Environmentally – Sound Manner?

Environmentally sound waste management entails taking all necessary measures to guarantee that e-waste is managed in a way that will safeguard the environment and public health against any negative consequences that may arise from such waste produced.

2. What is EPR?

EPR or Extended Producer Responsibility is the concept of Pollution control, envisaging the principle of product life-cycle management and Polluter’s Pay Principle. Under theprinciple of EPR compliances for manufacturers, whoever causes or causes to contribute any adverse impact on the natural environment through his/her action shall be liable to redress the negative impact by bringing the damaged environment to it’s original state.

3. What is EPR Authorization

An EPR is a certification of environmentally sound practices for E-waste management, practiced by the producer entity. EPR Authorization is issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) after the producer entity has cleared all compliances related to E-Waste Management.

4. Who are the stakeholders involved in an EPR product lifecycle?

Various stake holders in an EPR product life cycle are Producers, Manufacturers, Collectors, Transporters, Recyclers, Refurbishers, and Importers of the product. The Regulatory Authorities such as the Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Board are responsible for making regulations, supervising the activities as well as penalizing the stakeholders in the event of any mis-compliance

5. What is an EPR Certificate and who requires it?

EPR Certificate is an authorization by the regulatory authorities, which signifies that an entity is compliant with the manufacturing recycling obligations as per the respective EPR regulations or laws pertaining to different categories of waste plastic waste, battery waste, e-waste, etc. Every producer, Manufacturer, Importer and Recycler of waste products is required to have a valid EPR Certificate.

6. Who issues an EPR Certificate?

The EPR Certificate is issued by the apex pollution control body of India – The Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

7. What are the documents required to be submitted with the CPCB to obtain an EPR certificate?

The EPR certificate requires all major information about the applicant as well as the business activity undertaken, along with the details of the product. The documents required are –
• Address Proof, ID, and other details of the manufacturer – PAN, AADHAR
• Address and proof of ownership of the business
• BIS Certificate
• Charter Document of the business of the manufacturer – AOA, MOA,CIN, DIN
• Product information and details of specifications
• GSTIN Number
• EPR Action Plan
• CPCB Certification

8. How much time it takes to receive an EPR Authorization Certificate?

CPCB takes about 40 to 60 days after submitting an Application Form to issue an EPR authorization certificate.

9. What are the regulations applicable to EPR Authorization in India?

EPR authorization in India is governed by various pollution control regulations. Such as-
1. Battery Waste Management Rules,2022
2. Battery Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001
3. Environment Protection Act, 1986
4. Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
5. Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act,1981.
6. Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016

10. Is EPR Authorization important for my business?

Yes, if you are in a waste-management industry and/or deal with recycled products, an EPR certificate is a necessary environmental compliance for your business as it signifies compliance with environment protection and sustainable development regulations and guidelines as laid down by the Government.

11. What are the repercussions for non-compliance with EPR guidelines

Non-conformity with the EPR compliances for Manufacturers can lead to a penalty of up to Rs. 1 lakhs or imprisonment of up to a term of 5 years for the manufacturer as per the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

12. Who is a Producer as per the EPR Regulations?

Producer is used for defining a person who is responsible for the complete lifecycle of waste management. A producer must design its product using eco-modulation and eco-friendly concepts and materials, right from the start of the production chain so that upon disposal, the product generates a minimum amount of waste.

13. Who is an Importer as per the EPR Regulations?

Importers of products are entities who supply/distribute products made from waste recycling to distributors in India. As per EPR compliances for manufacturers, and importers are also required to comply with the EPR Compliances in order to satisfy the manufacturing recycling obligations as prescribed by the Government.

14. Who is a Brand Owner as per the EPR Regulations?

Brand Owners are entities who are engaged in procuring or buying products from anEPR-compliant manufacturer and selling the commodity under their own brand label or trademark on online platforms and retail markets/supermarkets or retail stores. In this way, Brand Owners contribute to waste management and minimization measures under EPR obligations by branding, repacking, and promoting e-waste-compliant products in the market.

Read our Article: Overview Of EPR For Import Of Batteries

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