In the wake of demand made by the Prime Minister to mitigate single-use plastics, the Ministry of Environment has released Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022 relating to plastic packaging. Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav has clarified this via tweeter account.
Announcing the notification relating to the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022 via the Twitter account on Thursday, Mr Yadav clarified that the directions facilitate a framework to boost the circular economy and advocate alternatives to plastic. The guidelines pave a roadmap for entities to shift towards sustainable plastic packaging. As per the notification, the new guidelines shall come to effect with immediate effect.
Major Highlights of Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022
New Classification for plastic
The Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022 seek to classify plastic in four primary categories as shown below:
Category 1 will entail rigid plastic packaging;
Category 2 shall entail flexible plastic packaging of an individual layer or multilayer (comprising different types of plastics, plastic covers & sheets made of plastic sheet, plastic sachet, carry bags.
Category 3 shall include Multi-layered plastic packaging (comprising one layer of plastic and one layer of non-plastic)
Category 4 shall include plastic sheets for carrying bags and packaging produced from compostable plastics.
Mandating PIBOs to share the detail of recycling certificates
With regards to plastic packaging, the extended producer responsibility encompasses reutilization, recycling, use of recycled plastic content & end-of-life disposal by PIBOs. As per the new guidelines, the PIBOs shall have to facilitate the details pertaining to the recycling certificates only from authorized recyclers along with the particulars of quantity channelled for end of life disposal by June 30 of subsequent FY while filing annual returns on the web-based portal.
Further, Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022 clarified that the particulars facilitated by PIBOs and authorized plastic waste processors shall be scrutinized on the web-based portal. In case of difference, the lower figure shall be taken into account towards meeting ERP obligations of PIBOs. The certificates shall be exposed to an inspection of CPCB, SPCB, or PCC.
CPCB to launch a centralized web portal
The GOI has also called for setting up a centralized web portal by CPCB for the Registration and filing of annual returns by PIBOs and plastic waste processors by March 31.
The new Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules clarify that the web-based portal developed by CPCB shall reflect the plastic packaging material released into the marketplace by PIBOs in the FY. It will also manifest the particulars relating to the audit of the PIBOs and recyclers or other waste processors.
The online system would serve as the single window data repository with regards to orders and directions relating to the deployment of EPR for plastic packaging under PWM rules, 2016. Environmental compensation will be imposed based upon the polluter pays principle, with regard to non-compliance of EPR targets by PIBOs, to safeguard and improve the quality of the environment and restrain, curb, and lessen the pollution.
Carry forward of unfulfilled EPR directions
Payment relating to environmental compensation will not absolve the PIBOs of the compliances underpinned in these guidelines. The Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022 also state that unfulfilled EPR directions for a given year shall be carried forward to the subsequent year for the duration of three years.
Inculcation of new committee by SPCB
According to the new guidelines, the GOI has declared the establishment of a committee formed by the State pollution control board under the chairpersonship of CPCB chairman to suggest measures to the ministry of environment for seamless implementation of EPR including amendments to EPR directions.
The committee shall keep the tap on the EPR’s implementation and take appropriate steps to overcome hindrances. The committee shall also be assigned with an undertaking to guide and supervise the web-based portal, including approval of pro forma or requisite forms.
The committee shall include representatives from competent ministries/departments such as;
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
- Ministry of Housing and Urban, Affairs Department of Chemical and Petrochemicals,
- Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation,
- three SPCBs or PCCs,
- National Environmental Engineering Research Institute
- Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology
- Three industry associations as decided by the committee’s chairperson.
Annual return filing by SPCBs or PCCs
Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022 mandate SPCBs or PCCs to furnish an annual report on the EPR web portal with regards to its fulfilment by PIBOs (which entail plastic packaging material manufacturers) & plastic waste processors in the State/UT to the CPCB.
The report shall also be furnished to the state-based probing committee formed under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. The State pollution control board or PCC shall also furnish an annual report with regard to recyclers or end-of-life disposal in the state/union territory to the CPCB by July 31 of the subsequent year.
The new guidelines under Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022, seek to strengthen the circular economy by assigning more obligations to PIBOs and governing industries. Besides, new guidelines propose the inculcation of the new committee and web-portal which shall be managed by the Central Pollution Control Board. The new portal shall simplify the annual filing process and help strengthen the EPR ecosystem.
Read our Article:Plastic Waste Management Registration for PIBOs