EPR

Latest MoEFCC Notification Underpins New EPR targets for PIBOs

calendar16 Dec, 2021
timeReading Time: 7 Minutes
Latest MoEFCC Notification Underpins New EPR targets for PIBOs

Extended producer responsibility, i.e. EPR, serves as a definitive critical policy mechanism that aims to decrease the environmental impact, advance the circular economy, and advocate the principle of “polluter pays” by vesting the producer with the obligation to handle plastic waste for the entire product’s lifecycle. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change rolled out a draft EPR policy for the effective administration of plastic waste in India on Oct 6, 2021. Centre for Science and Environment (CSR), the non-profit institution, has shared its recommendations to MoEFCC, setting out the viable achievements and loopholes with the draft policy on EPR of plastics. This blog will discuss the Latest MoEFCC Notification Underpins New EPR target for PIBOs.

The Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 brings the notion of EPR into the light to administer plastic waste in India. While the EPR has yet to attain maturity in the Indian sub-continent, the preceding five years have failed to turn policy into action, owing to the lack of commitment from the producer and the absence of enforcement from the concerned authorities.

The latest draft rules seem more practical and legit when it comes to ensuring effective plastic management in the country.

Notable Highlight of the Draft EPR policy

  • Brand owners and online business owners have been encompassed under EPR
  • EPR now covers the pre-consumer as well as post-consumer plastic packaging waste
  • Producers & brand owners, i.e. PIBO, has been provided with assigned targets for collection relating to plastic waste.
  • Targets and rules for waste collection, re-use (by brand owners), recycling (by Producers & brand owners) and use of re-processed plastic by PIBOs have been set out.
  • Bi-annual plastic characterisation studies.

EPR Targets for PIBOs Underpinned by the Regulatory Authority

7.1 The EPR target for the producer and brand owner shall be laid out category-wise and State/UT wise.

7.2 Producer (P)

 EPR Target

Eligible Quantity in MT (Q 1) 

Q 1 (in MT) = (A + B) – C

  • Here the expression A refers to an average weight of materials made for plastic packaging (category-wise and state-wise) sold in the preceding to FY.
  • The expression B denotes the average quality relating to pre-consumer plastic packaging waste in the last two financial years.
  • The expression C implies the yearly quantity supplied to the companies that come under sub-clause 4 (iii) in the previous financial year.

The EPR Target shall be laid out on the basis of category and state and cited in the action plan, as shown below:

Plastic Packaging Category Year EPR Target
Category I 2021-22 35 %
Category II 2022 – 23 70 %
Category III 2023 – 24 and onwards 100 %

b) Recycling based obligations

Minimum threshold of recycling (not taking the end of life disposal into account) of plastic packaging waste 

(% of EPR Target)

Plastic Packaging Category 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27 and onwards
Category I 50 60 70 80
Category II 30 40 50 60
Category III 30 40 50 60

c) End of life disposal

Plastics that are not recyclable such as MLPs –should be senta  to the end of life disposal as per the norms in PWM Rule, 2016:

  • Road Construction
  • Waste to Energy
  • Waste to Oil 

d) Obligation for the utilization of recycled plastic

The table below shows the percentage of plastic packaging which must comprise recycled plastic.

 (Percentage of plastic manufactured for the financial year)

Plastic packaging category 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27 and onwards
Category I 30 40 50 60
Category II 20 20 30 30
Category III 5 5 10 10

In case the aforementioned accountabilities are not fulfilled:

CPCB can provide an exemption on case-wise basis

Producer and brand owners must meet their obligations by securing a ‘certificate’ of equal qt from PIBOs that have surpassed their obligation

The exchange mechanism will be worked out by authority via an online portal.

7.3 Importer 

Eligible Quantity in Metric Tonnes (Q 2) 

Q 1 (in Metric Tonnes) = (A + B) – C

  • Here the expression A refers to an average weight of plastic packaging material (state-wise and category-wise) imported in the preceding two FYs.
  • The expression B implies the average quantity relating to pre-consumer plastic packaging waste in the preceding two FYs.
  • Meanwhile, C denotes the annual quantity supplied to the registered companies cited under sub-clause 4 (iii) in the previous financial year.

The EPR target will be laid out, state-wise and category-wise and cited in the Action plan, as mentioned below.

Plastic Packaging Category Year EPR Target
Category I 2021-22 35 %
Category II 2022 – 23 70 %
Category III 2023 – 24 and onwards 100 %

Recycling obligations

Mini. threshold of recycling (excluding end of life disposal) of waste relating to plastic packaging

 (% of EPR Target)

Plastic Packaging Category 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27 and onwards
Category I 50 60 70 80
Category II 30 40 50 60
Category III 30 40 50 60

c) End of life disposal

Plastics lacking recycling characteristics such as MLPs – should be sent to end of life disposal such as (as per the norms in PWM Rule, 2016):

  • Road Construction
  • Waste to Oil 
  • Waste to Energy

d) Obligation for the utilization of recycled plastic

The table below manifests the percentage of plastic packaging which should comprise recycled plastic.

 (Percentage of plastic produced for the year)

Plastic packaging category 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27 and onwards
Category I 30 40 50 60
Category II 20 20 30 30
Category III 5 5 10 10

In the event aforementioned obligations are not addressed:

  • CPCB can provide relaxation on the case-wise basis
  • PIBOs ought to meet their obligations by securing a ‘certificate’ of equal qt from PIBOs that have surpassed their obligation
  • The exchange mechanism shall be worked out by the concerned authority via a web-based central portal.

7.4 Brand Owner (BO) 

Eligible Quantity in Metric Tonnes (Q 3)

Q 3 (in MT) = A + B

  • In the above expression, the A refers to the average weight of new plastic packaging material procured and rolled out in the marketplace in the last two FYs.
  • Meanwhile, B implies an average quantity relating to the pre-consumer plastic packaging in the preceding two FYs.
  • The EPR target will be laid out, state/UT wise and category-wise and cited in the Action plan, as shown below.
Plastic packaging category Year EPR Target
Category I 2021-22 35 %
Category II 2022 – 23 70 %
Category III 2023 – 24 & onwards 100 %

b) Obligation relating to reuse 

Brand owners utilizing Category 1 (rigid) plastic packaging must be mandated to fulfil the obligation of reusing the packaging. 

The table below shows the minimum obligation of reuse:

Year Target (as % of Category I rigid plastic packaging in the product sold out annually)
A Category I rigid plastic packaging of product with vol. or weight equivalent or more than 0.9 litres or kg but less than 4.9 litres or kg, depending on the case.
I 2023 – 24 10
II 2024 – 25 15
III 2025 – 26 20
IV 2026 – 27 and onwards 25
B Category I rigid plastic packaging of product with vol. of weight equivalent or more than 4.9 litres or kg.
I 2023 – 24 70
II 2024 – 25 75
III 2025 – 26 80
IV 2026 – 27 and onwards 85

Estimation of the quantity of rigid plastic that is being reused?

  • Minimizing new plastic packaging manufacturing/procuring/importing that FY
  • Information must be shared with the authority via centralised online portal
  • The quantity of Category I rigid plastic packaging exposed to re-utilization during the FY 2021-22 and 2022-23 shall be reduced from the overall plastic packaging used under Category I.

Obligation for recycling 

Minimum threshold of recycling (not including end of life disposal) of plastic packaging waste 

 (% of EPR Target)

Plastic Packaging Category 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27 and onwards
Category I 50 60 70 80
Category II 30 40 50 60
Category III 30 40 50 60

c) End of life disposal

Plastic that lacks recyclable characteristics such as MLPs –should be mandatorily sent to the end of the life disposal such as (as per the norms of PWM Rule, 2016):

  • Road Construction
  • Waste to Oil 
  • Waste to Energy

d) Obligation for the use of recycled plastic content

The table below shows the percentage of plastic[1] packaging which must comprise recycled plastic.

 (Percentage of plastic manufactured for the year)

Plastic packaging category 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27 and onwards
Category I 30 40 50 60
Category II 20 20 30 30
Category III 5 5 10 10

In the event aforementioned obligations are not addressed:

  • CPCB can provide relaxation on the case-wise basis
  • PIBOs ought to meet their obligations by securing a ‘certificate’ of equal qt from PIBOs that have surpassed their obligation
  • The exchange mechanism shall be worked out by the concerned authority via a web-based central portal.

Surplus Targets Fulfilled

(8.1) Producers and brand owners who have met their EPR targets, state-wise and category-wise, can utilize the surplus for the following: 

  • Compensating previous FY shortfall
  • Sell it other entities
  • Carry forward for use in succeeding year 

(8.2) The use of Surplus in one category is limited to off-setting. This further can be carried forward and sold in the same category. 

A surplus under;

  • Reuse can be used for reuse, recycling and end of life disposal. 
  • recycling can be used for recycling and end of life disposal
  • End-of-life disposal cannot be used for reuse or recycling.

(8.3) EPR Certificates secured by entities in case incomplete targets, must do so in the same category. 

(8.4) PIBOs are mandated to furnish the aforementioned details on web-portal during filling of annual returns. The regulatory authority, CPCB, shall develop the credits exchange mechanism.

Environmental Compensation

9. Guidelines relating to the Environmental Compensation 

(9.2) If the EPR guidelines are left unaddressed, CPCB shall levy the collection of an environmental compensation on PIBOs, authorized recyclers, and end of life processors. 

 (9.3) If PIBO is functional in more than two states- the CPCB shall impose the environment compensation

 (9.4) If PIBO is not functioning in more than two states, the respective SPCB shall levy the environmental compensation

In case, the SPCB/PCC fails to take measures in acceptable timeline, the CPCB shall roll out the guidelines to the SPCB/PCC

Environmental Compensation – Collection and Use 

(9.5) All PIBOs are mandated to fulfil their EPR target for the given year, even in the case of paying Environmental Compensation. 

They will be provided with a timeline of three years to fulfil the targets unaddressed in that particular FY.

The environmental compensation imposed will be returned to the PIBOs in the following way:

Within one year of the imposition of environmental compensation: 75% return  

Within three years, 40 per cent post completion of three years on environmental compensation owing to the entire EC amount shall be forfeited.

 (9.6) the payment regarding the compensation shall be made into an escrow account administered by CPCB/SPCB/PCC, which shall be used for gathering, recycling and end-of-life disposal of uncatered waste.

 (9.7) Violation of accountabilities enlisted under these norms shall lure actions in view of  Section 15 of EP Act, 1986.

Conclusion

With this notification, the ministry aims to speed up its effort to bring the Circular economy to ensure effective utilization of resources. Further, the government intends to promote ‘Reuse’ and ‘obligatory use of Recycled Content’ to minimize wastages and pollution.  Moreover, the MoEFCC has broadened the scope of PIBOs in relation to the EPR targets.

First, the notification brings the notion of plastic credits and trading into effect, which will enable companies to meet their targets via financial transaction in case of compromised waste management.

Second, environmental compensation- is a form of collateral used by the concerned authority when entities fail to fulfil their EPR targets for that particular year. In view of this, PIBOs are mandated to meet their target within the subsequent three years and can avail a refund on their compensation paid.

Thirdly, the pollution authority has greatly emphasised the utilization of the web portal for filings, trade of EPR certificate and so on. With an endeavour to systematic calibrates the fragmented waste management ecosystem, the web-portal, along with a clarified explanation of the procedure, will revolutionise the way entities are held obligated for their EPR targets.

It is noteworthy that entities have to deal with offline fillings until the advent of the fully functional online portal. Fourth, to underpin a productive compliance system, the draft calls for periodic probing and audits either by the regulatory authority or a designated agency. The clause ensures the comprehensive and systematic tracking of the material claimed to be processed.

Fifth, the EPR targets are identical to PIBOs. With one additional accountability for brand owners- they are obligated to mandatorily reuse rigid plastic in their packaging.

Read our article:How to obtain PRO Authorization – E-waste?

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