Single plastic waste and multi-layered plastic packaging material are the prominent sources of waste generation in India. Indian Government has been through a lot of hardship and has taken various measures to curb such a situation. According to a recent Government report, India has witnessed double-digit growth in waste generation in the last five years with an average yearly increase of 21 per cent. EPR implementation is a needful measure taken by the Government in this direction. The paradigm of EPR supports the concept of a Circular economy as it promotes recycling and reuse of products.
What‘s new under PWM Rules?
Recently the Indian Government came up with the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules that seek to encompass Waste generators under the scope of Extended Producer responsibilities. Previously, the said rules obligate PIBOs (Producers, Importers, and Brand Owners) to comply with EPR responsibilities.
The recent amendments propose the following;
- The EPR target shall be escalated to 70 per cent in 2022-23 and 100 per cent from 2023-24. Similar EPR targets are applicable to brand owners and importers, but the quantity shall differ based on the quantum of packaging waste they are liable for.
- The recycling target for Producer will be 50 per cent for rigid items in 2024-25, 60 per cent in 2025-26, 70 per cent in 2026-27, & 80 per cent from 2027-28 onwards. Similar durations are also applicable to importers and brands.
- Environmental compensation will be imposed depending on the polluter pays principle w.r.t non-fulfilment of EPR targets by PIBOs to safeguard and improve the quality of the environment controlling and abating environmental pollution.
EPR Target in Plastic waste rules for Producer
The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) targets for PIBOs shall be determined category-wise.
Eligible Quantity in Metric Tonnes (Q 1) will be the average weight of plastic-based packaging material sold in the last two FYs (A) plus average quantum of pre-consumer waste in the last two FYs (B) minus the yearly quantity (C) supplied to the companies cited under sub-clause 4 (iii) in the preceding FYs as under:
Q 1 (in MT) = (A + B) –
And the EPR target should be computed category-wise, as shown below:
|Serial Number||Year||EPR target (as a % of Q1- category wise)|
|1||2021-22||25 per cent|
|2||2022-23||70 per cent|
|3||2023-24||100 per cent|
The EPR target in Metric Tons category-wise, as applicable, shall be facilitated by producer, as part of EPR Action plan on the web-based portal of CPCB.
EPR target in Plastic waste rules for recyclers
The producer shall ensure minimum threshold of recycling of waste coming comprising of plastic waste accumulated under EPR, category-wise, as shown below namely:
|Category of plastic packaging||2024-25 EPR Target (%)||2025-26 EPR Target (%)||2026-27 EPR Target (%)||2027-28 EPR Target (%)|
In case of Category IV, the minimum threshold of recycling implies processing plastic packaging waste for composting via industrial composting units.
Use of recycled plastic content
The producer shall be liable to use recycled plastic in plastic packaging category-wise as shown below
Mandatory utilization of recycled plastic in plastic packaging
|S. no||Year||EPR target (as a % of Q2-category wise)|
EPR Target in plastic waste rules for importers
|S.no||Year||EPR target (as a % of Q2-category wise)|
EPR target in Plastic waste rules for Brand owners
Eligible Quantity in Metric Tons (Q 3) will be the average weight of virgin plastic packaging procured and released in market in the last two FYs (A) + Average quantity of pre-consumer plastic packaging (B) in the last two FYs as under:
Q 3 (in MT) = A + B
The EPR targets shall be estimated, category-wise ,as shown below
|S.no||Year||EPR target (as a % of Q3- category wise)|
Liability of brand owner to use recycled plastic content
|Category of plastic packaging||2025-26||2026-27||2027-28||2028-29 & onwards|
In cases where it is difficult to address the obligation relating to recycled plastic content on account of statutory norms, the exemption will be conferred by CPCB on a case-to-case basis.
But, in such events, the PIBOs will have to meet their obligation relating to the use of recycled content (in quantitative terms) via the purchase of a certificate of equivalent quantity from such PIBOS who gave utilized recycled content in surplus of their obligation. CPCB shall develop a method for such exchange on its online portal
In case the Brand owner also plays the role of Producer or importer of plastic packaging material, clauses 7.2 & 7.3 under PWM rules shall also apply for identifying their EPR targets as Producer and /or Importer, respectively.
Key points to ponder relating EPR target in plastic waste rules
- The EPR Target in Metric tonnes category-wise, as applicable, must be facilitated by all PIBOs as part of the Action plan on the CPCB’s centralized portal.
- The liability for recycling, reuse and use of recycled plastic content shall be examined every five years based upon existing technologies for fulfilling the specified targets.
- EPR on plastic packaging shall advocate sustainable packaging according to the norms of CPC, inter alia based on the given criteria
(i) package designing promoting reuse;
(ii) package designing amenable for recycling;
(iii) recycled plastic content in plastic packaging material and; (iv) package designing for the environment
Waste coming from Single used plastic is enormous and increasing every passing day. The implementation of EPR has come as a relief for Government as it seeks to curb such waste generation via effective and comprehensive management. EPR targets in Plastic Waste management rule is subjected to revision and amendments to ensure better waste management pan India.
Read our Article:Legal Aspects of Plastic Raw Material Manufacturing Business